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® Nov 52
TO THE READER.
This book is not in
good condition. Please
use it carefully.
FORM NO. 403 ; 7,24.36; 4M.
CROWNED WITH STARS
ELEANOR C. DONNELLY.
With a Preface by the Very Rev. Edward Sorin, Superior-General
OF THE Congregation of the Holy Cross.
"■And there appeared a great wonder in the heaven^ a Wo7nan clothed
with the S2in^ aud the moon under her feet^ and on her
head a crown of twelve stars.'"' — apoc. xii, i.
PUBLISHED to AID IN PLACING ON THE DOME OF THE NEW UNIVERSITY OF
NOTRE DAME, INDIANA, A COLOSSAL STATUE OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN
MARY, CROWNED WITH TWELVE STARS OF ELECTRIC LIGHT.
NOTRE DAME UNIVERSITY,
NOTRE DAME, IND.
PROFESSORS, STUDENTS, AND ALUMNI
Or THE University or Notee Dame, St. Joseph's County, Indiana,
THOSE BELOVED CHILDREN OF MARY,
who haa^e long been intimately associated in a topogeaphical, as
well as a eeligious, way with the
sweet titles of
OUR LADY AND HER HOLY SPOUSE,
THESE POEMS, IN HONOE OF THEIR GLOEIOTJS PATRONESS,
THE QUEEN OF HEAVEN,
AEE DEDICATED, WITH THE SINCERE ESTEEM AND AFFECTION
OF THEIR FRIEND,
A stranger, to whom the proof-reading of Miss
Donnelly's charming volume had been confidingly
entrusted, took such unexpected and unwarrantable
liberties with the author's faultless work that the
publisher finds it necessary to print here an errata
of some of the chief blund'ers that could not be
corrected except by re-printing the entire book. Miss
Donnelly's manuscript is faultlessly clear, and her
punctuation as nearly perfect as can be. We mention
this because of the many minor changes made by the
proof-reader, not mentioned here, which tend to mar the
work, and which can not be corrected in the first edition.
Page 17, second stanza, fourth line, instead of " With," begin-
ning fourth line, read " And," making the line read —
" And the tears of poor Judah, combine "
Page 19, first line of stanza VII, for "depths" read "pa-
tient," and for " were " read " was " —
" How the dim, patient Limbo was stirred."
Page 19, third line of stanza IX, "hidden" should be
" Lay hid in the bosom of Joachim's spouse."
Page 20, last line of stanza XIV, "a word " should be " one
word " —
" Lest their ears should miss hearing one word."
Page 28, first line of stanza IV, "silent she sits" should
read "still she sitteth " ; and "does" should be "doth" — read-
" How still she sitteth ! She doth not spin."
Same page — " is," in last line of stanza V, should be omitted,
the line reading —
" Is half so lovely as thy face ! "
Page 31 — "Within," concluding fifth line of stanza XV,
should be " in " — reading,
" When the light of thy purity shines in."
Page 32 — the word "our," third line of stanza XVTT, is a
Page 36 — second line of first stanza, for "through," read
"'thwart"; and for " was," second line of second stanza, read
" Page 63 — first word of second line of first stanza should be
' To," not " Is " —
" To Genazzano quaint and fair,*"
and the word " the " inserted in third line —
" In the mystic glow of the long ago."
Page 65 — first line of second stanza, for "place," read
" space" —
" Where high in space, o'er the altar-place."
Page 66 — first line of third stanza, for " doubt," read
*' doubts," —
" In all our fears, our doubts, our tears."
Page 73 — for the second "in" in the second line of stanza
III, read " as " —
" Once, (in days dark as the present,) "
Page 75 — the word " voices," fifth line of stanza VI, should
read " voice " —
" And the voice of many thousands."
Page 76 — the word "maiden's," first line of second stanza,
should be "maiden," and the word " wed," in the third line,
should be " web " —
" And over the maiden visage,
So like a thing of flesh,
Like a spider's web o'er a HI}',
Is cast that filmy mesh."
Page 78 — fourth line of first stanza, read "secret'' for
" savory" —
" A secret odor of peace."
Page 104 — the word " tired," first line of stanza VIII, should
be " tried " —
" And when the tried and tempted, before him bending low."
Page 119 — second line of second stanza, read "night" for
" The wintry night hath flown."
Page 130 — the word "binding," second line of fourth stanza,
should be " bidding " —
" Bidding the camp and the hospital bloom."
There was a time when every true Christian found supreme
happiness in joining any movement inspired by holy faith, which
promised a new glory to the sweet name of the august Mother of
Jesus. In the Middle Ages, so properly called the Ages of Faith,
the Church of God was distinguished by a general characteristic
feature, viz., the universal devotion of all Christian nations to the
Blessed Virgin. The thirteenth and fourteenth centuries in par-
ticular, so conspicuously reveal this deep sentiment of love for
Mary, that no historian of any rank has ever attempted to conceal
it. Indeed no honest or candid mind could call into doubt such
an evident, fact witnessed by millions through ages, and attested
even now by countless monuments still covering Europe, and thus
continuing the grand hymn of praise which the Christian world
had intoned in rapture to the glory of its heavenly Queen. For
centuries this admirable European concert, far from losing any-
thing of its enthusiasm, kept on gaining in strength year after
year, clearly showing the undying love from which it sprang, and
keeping in perfect unison the voices of all nations, as well as of
all classes : a marvellous unity, which love alone can form and
preserve in a family, for a mother in whom all affections natur-
In presence of such eloquent testimonials of our noble ances-
tors' admirable devotion to Mary, what comparison shall our puny-
efforts bear with the amazing productions of their lively faith and
magnificent liberality? They loved that holy Mother, and could
never do enough for her cause. We, Christians of the nineteenth
century, shall leave to our successors a different record, the prom-
inent feature of which will probably be, the love of ourselves,
of our ease and comfort. We may boast of our surprising inven-
tions and discoveries, of our advance in science, and increase of
wealth, but with all these superior advantages we are not remark-
able for religious achievements.
When, at times, the sky is overcast, we begin to feel the
absence of the sun, we long for its return ; and when it reappears,
nature is gladdened and seems more than ever sensible of its
warm rays, and the splendor it spreads around. We seldom value
what we possess until we realize that there is a danger of losing
it. The child never turns more quickly to its mother's arms than
when suddenly frightened ; and no sooner does it rest on her
bosom than all fright is over. Like the little child, when we
reach the arms of our Heavenly Mother, we feel safe, and almost
forget what frightened us only a moment before. Oh, the peace,
the security, the charms of a mother's embrace ! As we have
named her, let us rest a moment in the light of her sweet counie-
nance. Bonum est nos hie esse.
When we look back, half a century, we see in all directions so
many wonderful improvements, and such evidences of heavenly
benediction, that we cannot help feeling that God is with us.
Among the cheering signs which daily increase our confidence in
God, there is one which we place above all others : we see, with
delight, so many noble souls enrolling themselves by thousands
under the glorious standard of the Blessed Virgin, so many loving
hearts, whose aims and aspirations rise above the level of this
world, that we can entertain no fears for a land which on its first
discovery was consecrated to the Mother of God. Where she is
loved and honored, there Christ must be worshipped in spirit and
in truth. What a marvellous change we behold on all sides in
forty years ! The wilderness of yesterday is metamorphosed into a
garden of beautiful flowers. Hkc mutatio dexteroe. Excelsi. With
the illustrious mouth-piece of the ist Council of Ephesus, we
assign it to the mediation of our heavenly Queen. " Hail Mary,
Mother of God ! " exclaimed St. Cyril, in the venerable assembly,
" to thee we owe it that countless churches have been founded in
the cities and towns and isles that have received the true Faith."
We are dazzled by the rays of light flashing from all points
over our Continent. May it not be that the mystical candlestick
that once moved from the far East to irradiate European shores,
is again traveling westward to flood our land with its heavenly
effulgence ? One thing is certain ; the most tender devotion to
the Blessed Virgin is gaining ground in our country with marvel-
lous rapidity ; pious flocks are multiplying, devoted shepherds
watching. Like the Wise Men of old, they find the Infant with
Mary, His Mother, and, prostrating themselves, they adore Him ;
and, opening their treasures, they offer Him their gifts. We have
resolved never to separate in our love Mary from Jesus, between
whom there was an inseparable union on earth, as there is now in
Among Christians, a spotless life is ever in honor ; and it is
an edification to all, an eloquent plea for virtue ; but when the
spark of genius falls upon a warm and stainless heart, a new star
seems to appear in the firmament, to point the way to heaven. In
our best choirs, voices attuned in Mary's school, and after Mary's
accents, possess a beauty, a richness, a sweetness all their own ;
above all other voices, they charm the ear and melt the heart ; the
moment they intone their hymn of love to the Virgin Mother,
silence reigns, and every ear is strained to catch the melody ; the
unison of hearts is magical. Last year, a sweet voice of this
refined school was raised, in the East, in behalf of Notre Dame,
then slowly rising from her bed of ashes : the appeal was touch-
ing and tender ; many a soul was moved by it, and listened with
delight. Maurice F. Egan's name is now enshrined forever in
every bosom among the well-wishers of Notre Dame. His was
a rich, prelude, to a second and new effusion from the same East,
and the same City of Brotherly Love. Yesterday, it would seem,
a new star appeared, pointing to a favored spot, and inviting every
child of Mary to come and share in a most glorious task: to
place on the brow of Jesus' Mother a rich, shining crown.
Twelve bright poems, each one a jewel in itself, reflecting in
vivid colors one of the divine Mother's chief virtues. "With our
whole soul we thank the gifted and pious author whose spontan-
eous and precious offering we pray Jesus Himself to acknowledge
in His own time, by crowning her, and all her associates in the
noble work, with unfading honor and glory, for a blessed
Since our first arrival at Notre Dame, which was then in the
midst of a primeval forest, an Indian hunting-ground, our inces-
sant care has been to look to our Blessed Mother's interests.
For forty years, one desire has filled our soul, viz. : to raise up in
America a monument to Mary like those that are seen and ad-
mired throughout Europe, on every Christian shore, wherever a
loving heart can be found to bless her whom all generations have
blessed. In this labor of love, we have delighted to spend our-
self and be spent. Heaven has blessed us far beyond our expec-
tations. O, how deeply we thank all our generous helpers !
And what an unspeakable joy for us, in the evening of our life,
to know that every day and forever, the Adorable Sacrifice will
be offered for the benefactors of Notre Dame ! If we live to
see our Mother's Home adorned with its magnificent Dome,
and placed upon it, as on a fitting pedestal, the colossal statue,
now awaiting its glorious assumption, where it will reflect the
bright rays of the morning sun, and illumine, by its electric stars,
the darkness of night ; — if we live to see this work accomplished,
then we will joyfully repeat the sweet canticle of this day's office,
*' Nunc dimittis servum tmim, Domine, in pace^
E. SORIN, C. S. C.
Notre Dame, Ind.,
Feast of the Pttrification, 1881.
To Mary, Conceived without Sin. - - - 14
CROWNED WITH STARS.
Star the First; Purity — The Immaculate Conception
of the Blessed Virgin Mary, - - - 17
Star the Second: Simplicity — Her Nativity, - - 22
Star the Third: Generosity — Her Presentation in
the Temple, - - - - - - 24
Star the Fourth; Recollection — Her Hidden Life
in the Temple, - - - - - - 27
Star the Fifth : Humility — The Annunciation of the
Angel Gabriel to the Blessed Virgin Mary, - - 33
Star the Sixth : Fraternal Charity — Her Visitation
to St. Elizabeth, - - - - - 36
Star the Seventh : Poverty — Her Maternity, - 38
Star the Eighth: Obedience — Her Purification, - 40
Star the Ninth : Detachment — The Flight into Egypt, 42
Star the Tenth: Fidelity — The Hidden Life of the
Blessed Mother at Nazareth, - - - 44
Star the Eleventh: Self-Immolation — Her Dolors, 48
Star the Twelfth: Divine Love and Eternal
Union with God — Her blessed Death and glorious
Assumption into Heaven, - - - - 52
LEGENDS AND LYRICS FOR THE CHIL-
DREN OF MARY.
Pippo's Vision, - - - - - - 59
Our Lady of Good Counsel at Genazzano, ■ - 63
The Betrothal of St. Thomas of Canterbury, - 67
In Heliopolis, - - - - - - 70
Mater MiSERicoRDiy^, - - - - - 72
The Veiled Head in the Window, - - 75
Blessed Berchmans' Legacy, - - - - 78
A Little Legend of the "Ave Maria," - - 80
The Madonna's Penitent, - -' - - 83
Our Blessed Lady's Sleep, - . - - 87
At Last, ■-- - - - - - -89
Our Lady of the Chair, - - - 90
Between the Lights, - - - - - 94
The Beggar's Prayer, .... 95
A Mother's Rebuke, - - - - - 97
The Bird's Angelus, ... - . 98
A Canzonet to Our Lady of Lourdes, - - 99
The Sisters, --..._ 100
The Statue of Saint Joseph, . . . - 102
A Tryst with the Flowers, - - - 105
Hymn for the Confraternity of Our Lady of
Mount Carmel, - - - - . 107
Purest of the Pure, - - . - . 108
Song of Saint Gertrude, - - - - no
Tribute of the Months to Mary, - - - m
May Carols, - - - - - - T17
Glorious Mother! from High Heaven, - - 117
Awake, Q SMILING May! - - - - 118
Queen of the Skies ! - - - - - 120
'Tis the Month of our Mother, - - - 121
As the gentle Spring uncloses, - - - 123
Blessed are we as the Children of a Mother, - 124
The Crowning of the Queen, - - - 126
The Cannon in the Convent Grounds, - - 129
MARY CONCEIVED WITHOUT SIN,
"Crowned with Stars,"
AND SITTING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF HER DIVINE
SON IN HEAVEN.
Would I were a favored minstrel
In thy service never mute,
But with voice of praise, Madonna,
Tender as a lover's lute,
Singing, through the ages hoary,
(Like a Minnesinger bold,)
Legends of thy love and glory
To a harp of pearl and gold.
Would that prayer and fast and vigil
Made my soul as white as snow,
And unto my hand were given
Brush of Fra Angelico, —
TO MARY. 15
Pencil of the tonsured artist,
Sketching what his soul was shown
In those hours of purest rapture,
When he walked with God, alone !
Minstrel, — I would sing such roundels
Of thy mercy, Mother sweet,
They should sweep the wide world over,
Drawing myriads to thy feet.
Artist, — I would paint such pictures
Of thy regal loveliness.
Saints would kneel, entranc'd before them.
Sinners would thy beauty bless.
But thou wilt not scorn. Madonna,
Even little songs like mine:
Little robins, singing near thee.
Join the nightingales divine;
Little pens which spread thy praises,
Angels dip in golden light.
Till the rudest stylus glitters.
Like a jewel, in thy sight !
And upon our lives. Madonna,
In our virtues, pure and fair.
l6 TO MARY.
We may limn thy virgin graces,
Like a vision in the air:
For the artist, Faith, a greater
Than the Fra Angelico,
Sets the easel, blends the colors.
Bids thine image in us glow !
CROWNED WITH STARS.
" And there appeared a great wonder in the heaven^ a Woman
clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet^ and on her
head a crown of twelve stars'' — Apoc. xii. i.
STAR THE FIRST: PURITY.
THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION OF THE BLESSED VIR-
" Thou art all fair ^ my Beloved^ and there is no spot in thee^ — Cant. iv. 7.
'Tis born of the earliest snows,
Of the freshest and purest of snows, —
Leaping out of December's bleak, pitiless breast,
Like a lovely, miraculous rose,
It blesses the world, as it blows.
So full of a fragrant delight,
So fraught with a gracious design, —
Around it, God's promise to Adam of old
With the tears of poor Judah, combine
In a rainbow of beauty divine !
CROWNED WITH STARS.
Fill up the bright vases with flowers,
Let millions of tapers shine out ;
And the shrines of our Lady, conceived without sin,
With the hosts of her children devout,
Be tenderly girdled about.
While laces and jewels are spread,
And her lovers the hot-house are robbing, —
The old organ swells thro' the listening aisles.
Like a great heart, in unison throbbing.
With the hymn that the singers are sobbing.
Far back in the centuries gray.
Where the Eden of hope disappears,
God struck the grand chord on the organ of Faith,
Which should sound through the wailing and tears
Of thousands and thousands of years.
Which should echo through Heaven, the blest,
Which should tremble thro' Hades, the dread,
" The seed of the woman shall vanquish her foe ^
And the heel of the woman shall tread
On the serpent* s victorious head! "
How the dim, depths of Limbo were stirred
With the thrill of a coming translation !
While the patriarchs leaned o'er its ramparts of gloom
To watch with serene expectation,
For the Eve of the new dispensation.
Foreshadowed by yearning desires,
Sought after with tear-darkened eyes.
What dawn was there ever for Israel's night, —
What light for her threatening skies.
Till this star of the morn should arise ?
And when in the fulness of time.
The Queen without sceptre or crown.
Lay hidden in the bosom of Joachim's spouse, —
How tenderly Heaven looked down
On that poor little Syrian town !
No jewel on Caesar's broad brow,
No gem on the throat of his bride,
Could vie with that marvellous Pearl of great price,
For which princes and prophets have sighed,
And which Anna rejoices to hide.
20 CROWNED WITH STARS.
Oh ! virginal babe, yet unborn,
So spotless without and within.
The first whom the world, since creation, beheld,
Conceived without shadow of sin, —
How vast has thy privilege been!
Ah ! it stirs us to read of the hour
When Cyril, the patriarch glorious.
Proclaimed thee, dear Lady, the Mother of God,
As Virgin and Mother, victorious
O'er the scoffs of the guilty Nestorius !
Ah ! it thrills us to think of the scene
When the doors of the church were thrown wide.
And Cyril, with hundreds of bishops, came forth
To stand on the steps, side by side,
While the multitude shouted and cried.
Yet why should we envy that throng
The glad proclamation they heard ?
Though Ephesus fell on its knees, and throughout
The dense crowd not a finger was stirred.
Lest their ears should miss hearing a word ;
Why envy those men of the past ?
When we who are true to our Queen,
Have heard in this age, our own Vicar of Christ
Proclaim her conceived without sin,
Without stain of original sin !
Dear dogma ! by Mary more prized
Than the title of Cyril's defense,—
May it prove a sweet rest to our sin-wearied hearts,
Like a sun-lighted valley immense,
Where our holiest hopes pitch their tents !
No fear if this Shepherdess fair
Shall shelter the flocks, as of old ;
Her voice is as tender as bells through the .dusk,
And the wolf may bay out in the cold.
While she gathers the sheep in her fold.
Keep us close at thy feet, blessed Queen !
The night lowers sullen and chill, —
Immaculate Lady ! conceived without sin.
When thy sheep shiver down the dark hill.
Ah ! guide them and succor them still !
22 CROWNED WITH STARS.
STAR THE SECOND: SIMPLICITY.
'''' Whosoever shall humble himself as this little child^ he is the greatest in
the kingdom of heaven J'^—?)T. Matthew, xviii, 4.
(Chorus of Angels in the Chamber of St. Anne) ;
*' Bring ye a cradle of the purest gold,
Garnished with jewels, rarest of the rare,
Linens and laces, fairest of the fair,
Breathing of perfumes from their ev'ry fold.
Unto the mother of the Undefiled,
Bring ye your offerings for her new-born child,
Mistress of earth and skies ! "
(Saint Gabriel, lifting the infant Mary in his arms) :
" Nay, spirits, nay,
Enamored is this child of Poverty,
And sweet Simplicity, the special seal
Of Him who shall be born of her one day.
Children of men ! your gifts to her must be
Hearts pure and humble, rich with charity.
Bring ye these treasures to her cradle. Kneel !
And round about her chant your welcoming lay!"
(Chorus of Humanity, prostrate before the new-born
" Daughter of a mighty Father,
Lily in the thorny way,
Angel forms around thee gather,
Macula non est in te !
" Mother of the Son and Saviour,
Of the Truth, the Life, the Way,
Guide our footsteps, calm our passions.
Macula non est in te I
" Spouse of the eternal Spirit,
Blossom which will ne'er decay.
Let us thy dear love inherit.
Macula non est in te I
*' Daughter, Mother, Spouse of Heaven !
Listen to our earnest lay.
Sweetest gift to man e'er given.
Macula non est in te I
" Here on earth we see but darkly,
^ut we hail afar the day
When we'll see thee in thy splendor,
Macula non est in te !
24 CROWNED WITH STARS.
STAR THE THIRD: GENEROSITY.
HER PRESENTATION IN THE TEMPLE.
^Harken^ oh! daughter^ and see and incline thy ear^ and forget thy people^
and thy father s house. ^'' — Ps.: XLiv, ii.
The light slants down the Temple stair,
Upon an aged couple there,
With quiet eyes and silvery hair.
Between them, like a rosebud bright,
And fresh and sweet, a child in white.
On either side a hand holds tight.
She hath but three sweet summers told,
This little girl with locks of gold,
Between her parents, grave and old.
Yet round her, hidden angels say :
" Gloria tibi^Domine!
Our sovereign Queen is here to-day ! "
And while she marvels at the hymn.
Sweet Anne and gentle Joachim
Conduct her up the staircase dim.
The Golden Gate is open wide,
And in and out, a surging tide,
The groups of strangers, ceaseless, glide.
But no one heeds the aged pair,
Or the infant, with her sunny hair, —
(God's favorite friends forgotten fare.)
And few behold the high-priest stand
In his glitt'ring vestments, old and grand, —
The open parchment in his hand ;
Save little Mary, brave and sweet,
Who kneels before the Rabbi's feet,
And lisps the words his lips repeat.
She doth not say : " O gracious King !
I'm but a little trembling thing,
Too weak to quit my mother's wing !"
She doth not plead : " O Lord divine !
Forbear, until I taste the wine
Of future joys which may be mine !"
Nor still, with cheeks and eyelids wet :
" My harvest is not ripened yet.
My zeal is mastered by regret !"
But, firm and fre'e, and strong of nerve,
(While radiant smiles the bright lips curve,)
"Take all, O God! without reserve !"
And Anna feels her heart grow weak.
And Joachim is pale of cheek,
As the maiden, rising, turns to speak.
2^ CROWNED WITH STARS.
She stands between them, like a lamb ;
She gives to each a tiny palm ;
She says, " Farewell !" — in accents calm.
And then it seems as dark as night,
As the Rabbi takes the child in white,
And leads her slowly from their sight.
O latticed doors ! which ope and close
Upon that tiny virgin rose, —
Ye could not hide her, if ye chose !
O Temple walls ! which stretch away.
Majestic, in the golden day, —
Ye cannot shut her in for aye !
For lo ! her glory shall flame forth
Throughout the South, throughout the North,
And in the West — where God is wroth.
And through the East shall ring her name.
And Mahomet himself proclaim.
In these mysterious words, her fame :
" Speak, Koran ! tell how Mary wise
Entered the temple at sunrise,
And veiled herself from mortal eyes ! "
O Joachim ! O Anna mild !
O parents of the undefiled !
Resign with joy that chosen child.
For safe behind the latticed screen.
She shall grow up, by men unseen,
A lily pure, and most serene.
And angels shall her playmates be,
To guard the maiden on whose knee
Shall bloom th' Incarnate Deity.
And after her, the prophets sing.
Shall eager virgins, following,
Be brought with gladness to the King.
STAR THE FOURTH: RECOLLECTION.
HER HIDDEN LIFE IN THE TEMPLE.
" My Beloved to me and I to Hun, ivho feedeth among the lilies. Till the
day break and the shadows retire.-'— Cm^t:., ii, 16, 17.
Come into the wide old corridor.
And see who sits in the silence there.
Where the sunshine flushes the marble floor.
And floats, like a halo, in the air ;
Draw near, O children ! noiselessly.
Lest your step should break her reverie.
The fair, sweet child in the dark old chair.
The lovely spinner, small and slight.
They have laid a veil on her golden hair,
And her robe and her mantle are not bright
28 CROWNED WITH STARS.
With the gorgeous hues or the trappings rare
The royal virgins of Sion wear.
But the spindle rests in her slender hands,
Emblem of labor ! and on her right,
A crystal vase, full of lilies, stands,
Their petals warm with the morning light ;
And lo ! at her feet, dear children, look !
Are the basket of work and the open book.
How silent she sits ! She does not spin.
She does not read, — but on her knee.
Her little hand with the thread therein.
Rests, like a snowfiake, tranquilly ;
And her liquid eyes are hidden quite
By the drooping lashes, long and bright.
Child of the Temple ! little Maid !
With such sweet silence cloister'd round,
What vision of light hath thy spindle stay'd ?
What glorious dream thy fancy bound ?
No lily set in its crystal vase
Is half so lovely as is thy face !
Behind thee, through the open door,
The peaceful country stretches green,
And breezes blow, and sunbeams pour
Their glad effulgence on the scene ;
For the hush of the early morning sleeps
On the dewy valleys and wooded steeps.
She does not rise to look abroad,
She does not turn, nor stir, nor speak,
But she feels the wind, like the breath of God,
Lifting the veil from her virgin cheek ;
And the downcast eyes a Something see
Hidden, my children, from you and me.
Is it the dawn of that radiant day.
Which, brighter than this, in her future waits ? —
When, up through the snows, she shall take her way
To the same old Temple's beautiful gates, —
While a lovely Babe on her bosom lies.
The light of the Godhead in His eyes !
Or is it the close of that later day,
When the streets of the city are growing dim ?
And a child has been lost, the people say.
And His Mother and father are seeking Him.
O blind Judea ! thou couldst not see
That thou wert the lost one, and not He !
30 CROWNED WITH STARS.
Or, maybe, her dreaming heart is haunted
With the view of a Mountain, later scaled,
Where a rough old Cross in the gloom is planted,
And the sacred Victim upon it nailed ;
And, maybe, she sees and knows the face
Of the veiled Madonna at its base !
O vast and wonderful mystery !
Laid open and bare to those childish eyes ;
O dolor, deep as an infinite sea,
Where she, dying, lives, — where she, living, dies !
For lo ! the spinner who sits in the sun,
And the Mother who stands by the Cross, — are
^''Veni!'" she hears the Spirit call,
" Arnica mea^ cohimba mea ! "
— Through the Summer silence they rise and fall
Those last sweet words, '''' formosa mea ! "
And her heart, in its generous fervor, pants
•For the cross and the nails and the dripping
''''Veni f she hears it, nearer, tremble,
" Arise, O love ! and quit thy cell ;
RECOLLECTION. 3 1
Already in the courts assemble
The noblest youths of Israel ;
And princely suitors there await
Thine entrance at the inner gate."
Dear Mater Admirabilis !
Ere the high-priest leads thee forth to stand
Where Joseph waits 'mid the throng in peace,
• The blossoming staff in his aged hand,
Ah! turn from thy lilies, thy work, thy book.
And gladden thy children with one fond look.
O Dove ! in the clefts of the great Rock hidden,
O shy, small Dove ! that dwellest apart.
The tears spring into our eyes unbidden.
And a strange sweet sadness stirs the heart,
When the light of thy purity shines within
On the dark abyss of our want and sin !
While our hearts still glow, while our eyes still glisten,
Speak, little Queen ! and we hold our breath.
To kneel at thy footstool here, and listen
As our dear Lord listened in Nazareth ;
And looking, with trust, in thy tender eyes.
We shall see where the path to His sweet will
32 CROWNED WITH STARS.
Sorrow or joy — repose or laboi }
We dare not choose, if a choice there be,
Whether to rest with our our Lord on Tabor,
Or kneel by his side in Gethsemane;
Whether with John on His breast to lean,
Or carry His cross with the Cyrenean.
Speak, little Queen ! ere the present flees us,
And tell us the secret of the King,
The wish of the Sacred Heart of Je^us,
On whom we rely, to whom we cling ;
Show but the path of His will, dear Mother !
And the hearts of thy children will seek none
STAR THE FIFTH: HUMILITY.
THE ANNUNCIATION OF THE ANGEL GABRIEL TO THE
BLESSED VIRGIN MARY.
''''Behold^ a virgin shali conceive^ and bear a son.''^ — Isaias, vn, 14.
(MARY'S little room in the COTTAGE OF JOSEPH, AT NAZARETH.
Angelus Domini nuntiavit Maria.
The sweetest cell that e'er hath been
Haunt of celestial bees, —
And, in its midst, upon her knees.
With folded hands serene,
The virgin mistress of the place.
So rare and fair a maid,
The entering angel is afraid
To look upon her face.
*' Hail, Mary, full of grace; the Lord
Is with thee," — (in her nest
The dove is troubled). "Thou art blest
'Mong women." Glorious word !
*' For lo ! in virgin purity.
Thou shalt conceive a Son,
34 CROWNED WITH STARS.
And bring Him forth. The Holy One,
Whose name shall Jesus be.
"Son of th' Most High, whom all adore,
Blest heir of David's throne, —
In Jacob's house. He, long-foreshown.
Shall reign for evermore ! " * * *
— The lily trembles in its vase ;
Angels forestalling men,
Cry out again, again, again,
" Hail, Mary, full of grace ! "
'■''Ecce ancilla Dotnini ! "
She did not say to Gabriel,
With mild but most majestic mien,
" Behold the Mother of thy Lord !
Behold thy sovereign Queen ! "
But with her lovely virgin head.
Like some fair golden flower bent,
" Behold the handmaid of the Lord ! "
She said, in meek consent.
JSl Verbum caro factum est.
From out the deep exquisite eyes.
Pure eyes of azure-gray,
There flows, in some mysterious way,
The radiance of the skies.
And all the chamber flooded bright,
Is full of perfume sweet,
The kneeling Maid, from head to feet,
Is bathed in that great light !
She holds Him fast, she clasps Him close,
Her God, her Spouse, her Son, —
The little spikenard's scent hath won
The King from His repose.
The hope of prophets, long foretold,
The patriarchs' desire,
Hath come to cast His glowing fire
Thro' realms dark and cold.
Soon shall Thy hidden blossoms bloom,
Sweet Flower of Jesse's rod !
We worship Thee, Incarnate God !
In Mary's spotless womb.
S^ CROWNED WITH STARS.
STAR THE SIXTH: FRATERNAL CHARITY.
HER VISITATION TO SAINT ELIZABETH.
'"'' And Mary rising up in those days^ went into the viountainous country
with haste ^ into a city of Judah. And she entered into the house of
Zachary^ and saluted Elizabeth.'''' — St. Luke, i, 39, 40.
Where streams the sunlight through the vine-wreath-
And mountain breezes through the chamber blow,
A spinning-stool is placed upon the floor.
The wool upon the distaff, white as snow ;
The while, the shining spindle deftly spread, —
A gray-haired woman sits and twists the thread.
Save for the south wind's soft and ceaseless hum —
The house was silent. In the window-nook.
The woman's spouse sits motionless and dumb,
Reading the pages of an ancient book ;
But both the furrowed faces glimmer bright,
As with the glow of some great coming light.
A shadow falls across the sunny floor.
The air grows fragrant with the lily's breath ;
— A slender form hath entered at the door,
A glad voice trembles forth, — " Elizabeth ! "
And, with the sunshine on her outstretched hands,
Greeting her cousin, — gracious Mary stands.
FRATERNAL CHARITY. 37
Lo ! at her voice the aged face doth bloom
With girlish beauty. Filled with heavenly joy,
The Baptist leaps within his mother's womb,
And, hidden, hails the Virgin's blessed Boy.
" Oh ! whence is this supreme felicity ?
The mother of my Lord doth visit me ! . . . .
" Blessed art thou that hast believ'd ! " — but lo !
Like sparkling torrents from the mountain pour'd,
The Virgin's words of love and praise outflow,
" My soul doth magnify the Lord, the Lord ! "
The lifted eyes are radiant and moist,
" In God, my Saviour, hath my soul rejoiced !
" He hath looked down upon the lowliness
Of His poor hand-maid ; and, henceforth, behold !
The nations of the earth shall call me bless'd;
For He, the strong and mighty One of old,—
All-holy is His name, the Deity,
Hath done great things, Elizabeth, to me !
" Thro' all the generations, be it known.
To them that fear Him, is His mercy sweet ;
Lo ! in His arm He hath His power shown.
The proud dispersing in their hearts' conceit ;
He hath cast down the mighty from their thrones.
And lifted up the poor and lowly ones.
" And He the hungry hath with good things filled,
Whilst, empty. He hath sent the rich away ;
38 CROWNED WITH STARS.
And, mindful of His mercy, hath upheld
His servant Israel, — as He did say
Of old unto our fathers, failing never.
To Abraham and to his seed forever! "
— The thrilling tones are hush'd : the drooping veil
Half-hides the beautiful transfigured face;
The white-haired Zachary stands mute and pale.
Watching his thoughtful spouse, who turns to place,
Her spinning-stool: — the distaff 'gins to stir.
And Mary meekly ministers to her.
STAR THE SEVENTH: POVERTY.
And she brought fortJt her first-born son, and ivraj)ped him up in swad-
dling-clothes^ and laid him in a manger.'''' — St. Luke, ii, 7
The stable-door is very low.
And mean and small, — stoop down, proud
Nor dare, with thought of self, to go
Into that humble, roadside shed.
No light save that of starlit skies,
And Joseph's lantern, old and dim ;
The Babe within the manger lies.
While Mary, kneeling, worships Him.
The poor dumb beasts, tho' void of faith
And reason, stare at Him with awe ;
Upon His face, their soft, warm breath
Is blown across the coarse, sweet straw.
And Joseph near the manger kneels,
And clasps his roughened hands in prayer ;
And looking on the Infant, feels
That God Omnipotent is there.
Dear Mary ! ere the shepherd brings
His bleating lambkins through the cold ;
And ere they come, the Eastern kings.
With frankincense and myrrh and gold, —
Oh ! may we, by Saint Joseph led,
Not formally, nor as a stranger.
But keeping close to Jesus, spread
Our Christmas gifts before the manger.
And may the love we proffer there
Be pure as shepherds' offerings ;
More precious than the treasures rare
Reserved for Oriental kings.
And when the world's rude Bethlehem
Shall on thy dear ones close the door, —
Oh ! may our hearts make room for them,
And Christ therein be born once more !
40 CROWNED WITH STARS.
STAR THE EIGHTH: OBEDIENCE.
" And after the days of he.r purification^ according to the law of Moses,
were accomplished^ they carried him to Jerusalem to present him to the
Lord. . . . . A nd to ofFer a sacrifice, according as it is written in
the law of the Lord, a pair of turtle-doves, or two young pigeons.'''' —
St. Luke, ii, 22-24.
No sound in the hush of the Temple is heard
Save the coo of the Babe in His murmurings sweet,
And the coo of the doves at Simeon's feet, —
Bird answering bird.
So girlish the look of the Mother, so bless'd
With ethereal beauty her exquisite face !
She lifts up the dear little Babe to His place
On Simeon's breast.
And her smile is so graciously grave ; and so mild
Is the bearing of Joseph, — though silver his head,
The glory of youth o'er his visage is shed
When he looks on the Child.
The doves in their basket of osiers complain
And flutter their wings : but the Dove all divine
Lies mute in the arms of the Saint, gives no sign
Of emotion or pain ;
OBEDIENCE. 4 1
Save to turn on the Prophet those wonderful Eyes,
Those fathomless wells of perpetual light, —
The sun and the moon, and the stars of the night,
Were dark to those Eyes !
And flush'd with the glow of Eternity's dawn,
From Simeon's lip bursts the anthem of faith, —
The song of the saint is the sweetest in death.
Like the song of the swan.
He sees the Lord's Christ ! It hath pass'd his desires
To press his Viaticum close to his heart :
^''Nunc dimittis ! " he sings, " O, God ! bid me depart.
Let me sleep with my sires ! "
But swift through the glorious swell of the song.
There trembles a warning, a sad minor chord,
" O, Mary ! thy soul shall be pierced with a sword
Of sorrow and wrong \ "
And lo ! ere the canticle dies on his ear.
Saint Joseph looks pale ; but the Mother's sweet face
Shows bright as the Babe's in her loving embrace,
— And Saint Anna draws near.
42 CROWNED WITH STARS.
STAR THE NINTH: DETACHMENT.
THE FLIGHT INTO EGYPT.
'"'' And Joseph rising up^ took the child and His tnother by nighty and retired
into Egypty — St. Matthew, ii, 14.
The silver sands are 'round them spread,
A palm-tree drooping overhead ;
The long fair twilight melting gray
Into the night, — lo ! far away,
'Mid faint pink clouds, where sank the sun,
The stars rise, trembling, one by one.
It is not safe to rest too near
This well of water sparkling clear,
Whose sides of ancient desert stone
With creeping plants are overgrown ;
For when at night the beasts come down
From desert jungles, dank and brown, —
With many a roar and plaintive scream.
Like troubled phantoms in a dream.
They haunt the cisterns cool and fair, —
And while they slake their fever there,
Let him who slumbers near, beware I
So Joseph to the water's brink,
Leads down the tired beast to drink ;
While Mary, on the upper mound,
Sinks lightly on the tawny ground,
And loosening the clinging folds
Of her long cloak, adoring, holds
The Holy Infant to her breast.
-Sweet wild Bird ! from that sacred nest,
It looks up to the heaven of love
In Mary's face, — and, like a dove.
It sweetly coos ; the while her hands
Loosen Its heavy swaddling-bands ;
And o'er Its rosy limbs, let flow
Pure waters from the well below.
And when, refreshed. It sleeps, she lays
It on the sand, and kneels and prays.
Mysterious vision ! clear and high.
The stars, like jewels, stud the sky;
The slender, crescent moon sails up
Inverted, like a silver cup;
And not a sound the silence breaks
Save when the giant palm-tree shakes
Its ripe fruit down.
Oh ! sight sublime.
Lord of Eternity and Time, —
44 CROWNED WITH STARS.
The Infinite, the Ever-Wise,
Here on the sands a Baby lies ;
And the unsleeping Godhead seems
An Infant wrapt in deepest dreams !
Sleep, blessed Mary ! On the grass,
Saint Joseph slumbers near the ass ;
The night is safe ; 'neath moon and star,
The hordes of Herod fade afar ;
And white with splendors, glory-given,
The air with angel's wings is riven, —
For God is here, and this is heaven !
STAR THE TENTH: FIDELITY.
THE HIDDEN LIFE OF THE BLESSED MOTHER AT
*M nd He went down with theju^ and caitte to Nazareth ; and was subject
to them. And His mother kept all these words in her heart.'"— ^i.
Luke, ii, Si.
Her wistful eyes are on Him fixed,
The boyish hand in Joseph's press'd,
So close ! the foster-father feels
The heart-throbs in his pupil's breast ;
And ever as that burning heart
Sends up fresh flames of eager love, —
A newer, sweeter smile of bliss.
Illumes the earnest face above.
Her needle shining in her hand,
The Blessed Mother sits apart,
And watches, as she, silent, works.
The Treasure of her sinless heart.
— The little room is pure and cool,
The sunbeams through the lattice pour;
/""" They sparkle over Joseph's tools, .jt-
They gild the shavings on the floorn . .^ ] r\.^A//ky^
They glitter on the ancient sconce
That hangs above the Mother's seat ;
And, touching, turn to golden bronze
Tk€^earthen pitcher at her feet :
^^nd, with that halo on His hair.
The Boy hath cast His tools aside,
Jl _ And stands, as if absorbed in prayer,
His slender arms extended wide.
Is it the shadow of the Cross
o Which falls athwart that gentle Face ;
^ Is it a spectral crown of thorns,
^ Which on that blessed Brow hath place }
— The Mother rises from her chair,
To hide, in household tasks, her fears ;
Her thoughtful cheek is lily-fair.
Her tender eyes are full of tears.
Ah ! who would enter at the door
Of this dear dwelling-place, must be
46 CROWNED WITH STARS.
Assured that Mary's hand alone
Can turn its tabernacle-key ;
For busy Joseph heedeth not
The pilgrim's soft approaching feet;
And Jesus, kneeling near the spot,
Is rapt in recollection sweet.
But to and fro the Mother goes,
With fond attentive eye and ear,
She seeth what none others see,
She heareth what none others hear.
And ever as-sh6 spreads the board.
Or sweeps, or spins, or smooths the bed,
The loving looks of Christ the Lord,
Upon her virgin face are shed.
For lo ! she bore Him in her womb ;
She fed Him with her milk's pure wine ;
She cradled Him upon her knee.
And wove His seamless robe divine.
Her full and perfect life is laid
Like dust beneath His royal feet, —
The fountain sealed for Him alone.
The garden closed for His retreat !
No inspiration (though it were
The gentlest breeze that whispereth,)
E'er swept across her blessed soul.
And failed to sway her with its breath ;
— y No grace, the tiniest of them all,
Was ever slighted or abused ;
No sacrifice, however small,
^ Was ever asked, to be refused.
See, how the Sacred Heart of Christ,
Delighted, drinks these wonders in,-
No rapine in the holocaust,
No trace of frailty or of sin ;
How in an ecstasy of love.
The virginal Humanity
Beholds this Lily 'mid the thorns.
And revels in its fragrancy !
Draw nearer then, draw nearer still,
•e/O'tired children ! tempest-toss'd,
She is t(he hope of desperate souls.
She is\the refuge of the lost ;
Cry out, Vith energetic faith.
Ask mighty graces, gifts sublime,
The Queen of quiet Nazareth
Will grant each favor in God's time.
For He hath cast into her hands.
Like l^ow'rs and fruits of Paradise,
The choicest graces, rarest gifts.
Which heavenly wisdom could devise ;
And folded on her radiant brow.
The kiss of peace and jubilee :
" Thou didst refuse Me naught, below,
I can refuse naught, /lere, to thee ! "
48 CROWNED WITH STARS.
STAR THE ELEVENTH: SELF-IMMOLA.-
" O all ye that pass by the way, attend and see if there he sorroiu like unto
my sorrow .'^^ — Jerem., Lam., i, 12.
(in the house of ST. JOHN THE EVANGELIST, ON THE FIRST
GOOD FRIDAY NIGHT.)
A low, wide room, dim with the shades of night,
And silent as the chamber of the dead ;
A single lamp its melancholy light
Sheds in the midst : and there, with muffled head,
With drooping form, and tightly-folded hands.
Our Lady at the little table stands.
The strongest rays upon her face are thrown ;
Within her mantle's azure depths enshrined,
The profile, pure and cold as carven stone,
Against the dark blue back-ground is defined ;
The ashen lips, half-open, as to speak;
A great tear trembling on the oval cheek.
For lo ! the while she stands, and mutely mourns.
Before her, on the little table, lie
The scourge, the nails, the sponge, the crown of thorns,
On which the crimson Blood is scarcely dry ;
The Precious Blood that, but some hours ago,
Welled from the bruised heart of the Man of
Once more before the Mother's vision surge
The dreadful scenes ; once more upon the air
She hears the fierce sound of the cruel scourge, —
She sees the mangled flesh, — the bones laid bare;
The helpless Victim to the pillar bound.
Meeting the lash with patience most profound.
Mark, how she shudders I Shouts of fiendish sport
Break on her ear. Her heart throbs strong and fast.
The soldiers, gathered in the outer court,
A scarlet cloak about her Son have cast ;
And on His head have press 'd so sharp a crown.
That blood and tears His sacred face run down.
And forth they go, and forth the Lamb divine
Goes with them, bearing on His wounded back
The heavy cross ; but where the blood-drops shine.
Like rubies, in the gentle Suff' rer's track, —
The Mother follows, painfully and slow,
Wrapp'd in the mantle of her mighty woe.
50 CROWNED WITH STARS.
One look He gives her, — shaking back the veil
Of tangled hair, that 'thwart His vision lies,
He gazes in her visage, pure and pale,
With tend'rest love out-leaping from His eyes ;
One glance of mute, of sweet farewell, — and then.
The blood-stained tresses hide His face again.
And when she next beholds It, It is drench'd
With sweat of agony. O pitying Heaven !
The blessed bones are from their sockets wrench'd,
And thro' His hands and feet the nails are driven ;
And, high above her, like a dove's sad note,
His dying moans adown the darkness float.
Ah ! if her loving hand could reach His head,
How sweet 'twould be to wipe that bleeding Face;
To lift the dear Limbs from their bloody bed,
And fold them fondly in her close embrace ;
Each open Wound to touch, and, bathing, bless
With all a mother's tears of tenderness !
Hark ! 'tis His voice : ^^I thirst / " — On such sweet lips
The purest dews of heav'n should, cooling, fall !
Alas ! alas ! amid the dark eclipse.
His mouth is drench'd with vinegar and gall.
SELF-IMMOLATION. 5 1
— Earth's countless fountains cannot here afford
One draught of water for their dying Lord !
The red wounds widen : quicker comes His breath —
Slower and slower throbs the breaking heart;
The thorn-crown'd head droops lower still in death :
The dim eyes close — the white lips fall apart;
One piercing cry the mournful Mother hears,
And lo ! it wakes her from her trance of tears !
The scourge, the nails, the sponge, the thorny crown.
Upon the table lie — O bitter sight !
But close beside her, kneels the dear Saint John,
Sharing the vigils of that solemn night ;
And fair-haired Magdalen, her kisses sweet
Doth, pitying, rain upon our Mother's feet.
52 CROWNED WITH STARS.
STAR THE TWELFTH: DIVINE LOVE, AND
ETERNAL UNION WITH GOD.
HER BLESSED DEATH AND GLORIOUS ASSUMPTION
'"'' When I had little passed by thevi^ I foii7td Hint whom my soul loveth : I
held him^ and I zvill not let Him go.''"' — Cant., in, 4.
The weary years of exile past and gone, —
Behold, at last, the Blessed Mother lying
Dpon her little couch : it is the dawn,
And she is calmly dying.
Not of disease, not of a slow decay,
Nor touched by Time, nor worn by grief or care,
But going forth, as on her marriage-day
Goes forth the maiden fair.
Love, in its furnace of intense desire,
Hath melted steadily her prison- bars ;
The last frail link dissolves, — be swift, sweet fire !
Her glad eyes glow like stars !
O sad disciples ! 'round this pillow throng,
For here the dews of grace are thickly falling,
The little room is filled with light and song.
And Christ the King is calling :
DIVINE LOVE. 53
"Arise, My love, My dove, make haste and come,
The rain is o'er, the Winter now is past.
Behold ! throughout our land, in glorious bloom,
The flow'rs appear at last !
" Come forth. My love, My dove, from this drear place,
Arise and come. My peerless, beauteous one ! " —
— With outstretched arms, a glory on her face,
The Mother clasps her Son !
''^Stirge^ proper a^ arnica viea^ et veni ! " — Cant., ii, io.
The angels stood upon a mighty cloud.
And thro' their silver trumpets cried aloud :
" Oh ! who is she that goeth up on high.
That by the desert, goeth up on high,
E'en as a pillar of celestial smoke .^
Oh ! tell us who is she } "
— The while the watchers spoke,
A grand response was given
By all the loyal winds of heaven,
"It is the Queen, the Queen, the Queen,
Maria, Mater Gratioe I
Our risen, radiant Queen ! ",
" And who is this .''" — the voices cried again.
Sweet voices, thrilling all the haunts of men ;
54 CROWNED WITH STARS.
" Oh ! who is this, by blessed shapes upborne,
That Cometh forth as lustrous as the morn,
Fair as the rising of the golden morn ?
Oh! tell us, who is this?"
— Scarce hush'd each silver horn,
Ere glad response was given
By all the eager winds of heaven,
Responding in their bliss :
" It is the Queen, the Queen, the Queen !
O Mater Admirabilis !
Our pure and gracious Queen ! "
And yet once more they cried from out the cloud,
Thro' all their airy trumpets cried aloud :
" Oh ! who is she that cometh up on high,
From out the desert going up on high,
All flowing with ineffable delights ?
Oh ! tell us, who is she ?"
— And to those glorious heights,
A last response was given.
By all the four-tongued winds of heaven
Responding mightily :
"Behold it is the Queen, the Queen !
Regina^ Maier Domini !
Who cometh up triumphantly
From out the desert's barren scene.
Rejoice, O land ! O sky ! O sea !
For she hath highly-favored been,
DIVINE LOVE. 55
And she to-day shall crowned be,
As Heaven's sovereign Queen ! ". . . .
— And all the voices in the air,
Caught up the echo, like a prayer,
" The Queen, the Queen, the sovereign Queen !
Hail, Heaven's sovereign Queen !"
LEGENDS AND LYRICS
CHILDREN OF MARY.
LEGENDS AND LYRICS,
A poor Italian soldier, who, of old,
Had been a shepherd on some Alpine farms.
Having resigned his crook, and left his fold,
To enter on the glorious trade of arms ;
Unluckily had joined a regiment
Of reckless fellows, more on plunder bent
Than on their country's glory — who entic'd
The simple shepherd from the love of Christ ;
And led him into crimes so black and harden'd
That Pippo quite despaired of being pardoned :
And what with wine, and what with cards and dice,
Sank daily deeper in the slough of vice.
Faith almost gone, and innocence quite stained.
One sole redeeming point, alone, remained ;
For, in his strange, mistaken way, poor lout,
The soldier still to Mary was devout.
And still recited (when he said none other)
Some little prayer unto that blessed Mother.
There came a day when, after hours of fight,
The brave Tyrolians broke their ranks and fled,
6o LEGENDS AND LYRICS.
Leaving behind them, in their hasty flight,
Almost as many dying men, as dead.
And lo ! poor Pippo lay among the rest,
With a great sabre-gash across his breast.
He was so sick and dizzy with his wound,
That he knew nothing definite; but swoon 'd,
And then revived, and swoon'd, and swoon'd again,-
The dark night falling ere he woke, — and then,
Inburning fever raved (poor wretch !) and cursed
Because there was no drink to quench his thirst.
" Water ! one draught of water, or of wine !
Will no one wet these blazing lips of mine ?
Will no one drive away these fiends from hell
Whose torches fire my blood?
— Hark! hark! a bell, —
A sheep-bell ringing up the Alps, — how sweet !
There's snow in plenty there, and frozen sleet,
And down the avalanche, the moisture drips
Its icy liquor on my thirsty lips
The sheep are straying hereabout : methinks
I'll track the bell — " and down poor Pippo sinks,
While thro' the pitchy darkness rings and rings
The tinkling bell; as, close at hand, (poor things,)
The tired mules in a deserted van.
Crop the adjacent hedge as best they can.
PIPPO'S VISION. 6 I
'Twas but a trifling thing, that tinkling sound,
But unto Pippo, bleeding on the ground.
It told strange stories, like a mocking tongue,
Of shepherd days when he was pure and young.
And in the midst of all his feverish pain.
There came across his weak, bewilder'd brain,
Such peaceful pictures of the mountain chalet,
And of the sheep, and of the sunny valley,
That Pippo wept, and clasp'd his hands, and pray'd
His childhood's Ave to the Virgin Maid.
Lo! thro' the darkness shone a brilliant light.
And in its midst, a Lady clothed in white.
Who looked on Pippo with her sad, sweet face,
And lifted to his mouth a dripping vase!
That sparkling draught, as cool as ice could make it,
How eagerly the soldier turned to take it !
But, ere it touched his lips, as quick recoil'd,
And dashed the cup upon the ground disgusted,
For e'en its very mouth-piece was bemoil'd,
Its sides and brim with foulest dirt incrusted !
Then the sweet Lady murmured thro' her tears,
" O erring Pippo ! thus, for years and years.
62 LEGENDS AND LYRICS.
Have thy poor prayers to Me presented been,
Out of the goblet of thy life of sin ;
And dost thou wonder that they sicken Me,
When this one draught can so repulsive be ? "
— Lo ! with the words, 'twas pitchy dark again ;
And Pippo rose, and felt nor wound nor pain,
But took his sword and broke it on his knee.
And cast the pieces from him, joyfully;
Then, while the grateful tears ran down his beard.
Strode to the hedge, plunged through, and disappear'd.
And since ? The world knows naught of Pippo, save
For certain rumors of a shepherd grave.
Who dwells far up the mountain in his chalet.
But tends the sheep-folds in the sunny valley ;
And, 'tis a legend in that simple land.
The rosary is ever in his hand,
And from his lips, the Ave sounds so sweet.
It draws the very lambkins to his feet.
But when he fills his flagon at the spring.
And, drinking, hears the silv'ry sheep-bells ring,
'Tis said, he lifts his hat, and on the grass,
Kneels down to whisper ^''Deo grat'ias I "
OUR LADY OF GOOD COUNSEL. 6^
OUR LADY OF GOOD COUNSEL
Over the sea from Scutari,
Is Genazzano quaint and fair,
In the mystic glow of long ago,
Floated a picture through the air.
A picture old with a rim of gold,
Where the rarest skill of the Byzantine
Had softly limned on a fresco dim.
The Virgin Queen and the Babe divine.
His blessed Face in her close embrace,
She held the Infant firm and fast ;
And, fair to trace in their tender grace.
The arms of the Child were 'round her cast.
While, pure and pale from her fringed veil.
The lily-face of the Mother shone,
The yellow light of His halo bright
Melting and mixing with her own.
Over the sea from Scutari,
In April dusk, in April dawn,
64 LEGENDS AND LYRICS.
Thro' sunset hues and morning dews,
A drifting star, when stars were none:
By viewless hands of angel-bands
Borne safe to Genazzano fair.
Over the sea from Scutari,
Floated the fresco through the air.
The night was chill, — the streets were still.
The picture passed thro' the little town.
At twilight-fall, o'er the broken wall
Of an ancient chapel, settling down ;
And there in the dawn of the April morn.
The wond'ring people saw it shine,
Suspended low o'er a wall of snow,
With no support save the Hand divine !
Pure and bright as the orient light.
The maiden Mother and her Child,
Mysterious borne to that spot forlorn.
Over the holy ruins smiled !
The ruddy flame of the sunlight came
To wrap the fresco round and round, —
" A miracle ! a miracle ! "
The people cried, as they kiss'd the ground.
OUR LADY OF GOOD COUNSEL. 65
And there they knelt and there they prayed
Around the Lady of the air ;
And day by day, in a magic way,
A shrine majestic builded there ;
Where high in place, o'er the altar-place,
Its wondrous wand'rings safely ended.
Serene and fair, in the upper air,
The shining picture hung suspended.
The curious hand might pass a wand
On ev'ry side, above, below,
-All unsustained, on its height remained,
The Image none might name or know ;
Till a stranger-priest from the golden East,
Told of a fresco fair to see,
Which drifted away, one April day.
From the wall of a church in Scutari.
A star .of peace on dark'ning seas
Where storm-toss'd ships were blindly sailing,
-A light to shoals of exiled souls,
A pilgrim Patroness unfailing,
66 LEGENDS AND LYRICS.
Behold ! they named her as she sat,
Her Babe upon her breast of snow, —
The guardian sweet of wandering feet,
" Madre del Buon Consiglio / "
O Maid divine ! in far-off shrine
Beyond the purple, rolling sea.
In all our wanderings far and wide.
Our Mother of Good Counsel be !
In all our fears, our doubt, our tears.
Our nights of sleepless bitterness, —
Be thou the star that shines afar.
To gild the clouds of dark distress ;
And o'er the sea, O love ! to thee
Our pilgrim hearts shall gladly go,.
And, grateful, share thy tender care
Madre del Buon Consiglio /.
THE BETROTHAL OF SAINT THOMAS. 67
THE BETROTHAL OF SAINT THOMAS OF
In a lovely cloistered garden,
On the grass beneath the trees,
In the absence of their tutor.
Some young students, at their ease,
Were reclining and recounting,
Half in earnest, half in jest,
The virtues and the graces
Of the maidens they loved best.
• When out-spake the young a-Becket,
Rearing up his stature tall,
"Ye may boast your fill, my gallants.
Of your sweethearts, one and all ;
Be she dame, or be she duchess,
Aye, or princess of the line.
Not a sweetheart in the realm
Can compare with mine, with mine !
" Oh ! her face is like a flower
In its rarest, tenderest bloom ;
68 LEGENDS AND LYRICS.
Her hair, a golden splendor,
And her breath, a rich perfume :
And rays of melting glory
From her eyes, like moonlight, flow,-
For oh ! she loves me, colleagues,
With a love that passeth show ! "
In his manly eye there trembled
A tear : his forehead glowed
With a strangely deep emotion.
As he turned away, and strode
Past his mute and staring comrades,
Down a pathway by the brook.
To a chapel of our Lady
In a green and shady nook.
There he cast him in a passion
Of tears at Mary's feet, —
And cried aloud, still sobbing,
With a pathos strong and sweet,
" O my Mistress ! O my Lady !
(Of all women prized the most),
Take thy lover's feeble homage,
And forgive his foolish boast !
THE BETROTHAL OF SAINT THOMAS. 69
" Pardon all my wild presumption,
That I dared—," the statue stirs,
And, above a-Becket stooping,
Takes his trembling hand in hers !
Puts a ring upon his finger.
Swiftly casts a scarlet stole
On his shoulders, as she murmurs :
"Thou art mine, O virgin soul !"
Then the air grows crisp with music.
As of bells of silver, — yea,
As the bells of some old minster.
Swinging, ringing far away ;
" Priest and bishop, saint and martyr,
For my sake.? " our Lady says, —
And the bells of Canterbury
Tremble out a gracious " Yes ! "
70 LEGENDS AND LYRICS.
Under the shadow of the leaves,
"In the soft Summer weather,
Sitting, the maiden Mother weaves
Some mystic robe together.
Down by the little silver brook
The Holy Infant lingers.
Holding, with sweet mysterious look.
Grapes in His shining fingers.
Down by the little silver brook.
Watching the wild-bird drinking,
His face, like some pure, sacred book.
Is writ' with earnest thinking.
How fair art Thou, Beloved !
Weeping, the maiden Mother saith,
Softly : " O heart's desire !
Alas ! in what most cruel death
Must Thy young life expire ! "
Weeping, " With what most cruel whips
Must that pure flesh be riven !
IN HELIOPOLIS. 71
To what rude thorns, what black eclipse,
Must that calm brow be given !
Alas ! my best Beloved ! "
Up from the brooklet's reedy bed,
The sated wild-bird fleeth, —
Young Jesus lifts His graceful head,
And His sweet Mother seeth.
Tears on her lashes, soft and brown ?
What evil doth betide her ?
The Infant casts His treasures down,
And softly stands beside her.
Over her cheek, all tremulous.
She feels His sacred breath, —
" What mournful thought hath moved thee thus ?**
" Thy death," she answereth,
" Thy death, my own Beloved ! "
Pressing His face (a fragrant rose)
Upon her breast. He saith :
" Sweet mother^ Heaven s gates unclose
With the dark key of Death I "
72 LEGENDS AND LRYICS. •
Then the great sorrow of her eyes
Melts in a lustre deep ;
— The moon looks in : dear Jesus lies
Within her arms, asleep,
Sleep sweet, O best Beloved !
At Savona, near the sea,
Is a fair celestial shrine,
Where, in many a radiant line,
The lamps burn constantly ;
The lamps of gold and silver
Crowning head and starring base
Of the statue of our Lady,
Filling all that solemn place
With its history of mystery,
The glory and the grace
Of a legend, lovely as the light
That bathes her lily-face.
At Savona, near the sea.
Flows a little crystal stream,
Like a river in a dream,
It runneth noiselesslv.
MATER MTSERICORDIiE. 73
And it flows beneath the altar
Of that pure Savona shrine.
From the mountains, through the valleys,
Sends its waters to the shrine,
Till they warble round the marble
Of a staircase, sculptured fine.
Winding down to where the ripple blaze,
Like jewels in a mine.
Where they rarest, fairest, gleam,
Once, in days dark in the present,
A poor and humble peasant
Was washing in the stream ;
When there shone a sudden splendor,
On the bank ; and here, just here.
Where the pendant lamps resplendent
The holy spot endear,
And the statue of our Lady
Has stood for many a year —
He saw in tears and tenderness.
Her very self appear !
The Queen in whom our trust is,
— He saw her droop her head
He heard her sobbing as she said :
" Oh ! mercy, and not justice !
74 LEGENDS AND LYRICS.
Oh ! mercy, and not justice ! "
— It seemed to fill the air,
" Oh ! mercy, and not justice ! "
Three times she murmured there,
Beseeching hands out-reaching,
In her anguish pleading there ;
— And then he knew Savona's sins
Were calling forth that prayer.
So he hied him to the town.
And he, trembling, told the tale,
And the Savonese grew pale,
Hiding fear beneath a frown ;
But; behold ! the wondrous vision
Thro' the land, like wildfire, ran
For our Lady blessed the mission
Of that simple, righteous man,
And above the holy stream.
On the bank they built this shrine,-
Where the lamps of gold and silver
'Round the Virgin's statue shine,—
And the weeping sinners creeping
To that citadel divine,
With the sick and ailing pilgrims.
Found the waters rich as wine.
THE VEILED HEAD IN THE WINDOW. 75
And Savona's sons did penance,
And her daughters watched and prayed ;
The cells, the hermit-fathers made,
Were thronged with sobbing tenants.
And the voices of many thousands
Rent the blue Italian air :
" Oh ! mercy, and not justice ! "
They cried in such despair,
" Oh ! mercy, and not justice ! "
They cried, prostrated there, —
The Madonna of Savona
Pleaded : " Spare them, Son, O spare ! "
—And the Lord of justice yielding,
In His mercy heard her prayer.
THE VEILED HEAD IN THE WINDOW.
'Tis placed in a public window.
In a crowded thoroughfare,
A marble bust of our Lady,
In the attitude of prayer.
A lovely, delicate labor
Of a pure, exalted art,
Revealing in every feature
The reverential heart.
76 LEGENDS AND LYRICS.
For, over the head of the Virgin,
The sculptor's hand hath thrown,
As if with an angel's tenderness,
A marvellous veil of stone ;
And over the maiden's visage.
So like a thing of flesh.
Like a spider's wed o'er a lily,
Is cast that filmy mesh.
Out of the airy shadow.
The faultless lineaments
Emerge, in their gracious sweetness.
In their grave, young innocence, —
Just as the fancy pictures
The same dear face — sweet faith!
In the old Egyptian doorways,
Or the porch of Nazareth.
*Tis odd to stand in the shadow.
And watch the hurrying crowd
Ebb and flow to this window.
With praises, low or loud.
Just as the dark Egyptians,
Or the Nazarenes of old, —
The rabble is won by the magic
Of that visage, pure and cold.
THE VEILED HEAD IN THE WINDOW. 77
She spreads the spirit of Jesus
Abroad in the sunny street;
And the world, the flesh and the demon,
Are drawn to her royal feet.
Unto the dusty workmen.
Who halt in the sun or rain ;
Unto the ragged gamins,
Who gape through the crystal pane;
Unto the merchant princes,
Worldlings, and children young,
She speaks, thro' the spell of her silence,
With a sweet, mysterious tongue :
"Come over to me," she whispers,
"And be enlightened, all;
And watch at my gates in patience.
Till the dews of grace shall fall.
" Come over to me, my children,
The Mother of God above,
Of fear and celestial science.
Of hope and of holy love ! "
And they cannot choose but come over,
Not choose but pause for a space.
Till their hearts are filled with the beauty
Of that veiled and virgin face.
78 LEGENDS AND LYRICS.
And going their ways thro' the city,
To their haunts of toil or ease,
They carry about them a perfume,
A savory odor of peace.
Sweeter than lilies and roses,
Subtile as light can be, —
'Tis the breath of the veiled Madonna
And her clinging memory.
BLESSED BERCHMA.NS' LEGACY.
When blessed Berchmans' life was near its end,
Some of his fellow students came one day,
And timidly besought their saintly friend.
To leave to them before he passed away
One precious gift, one priceless legacy ;
— The holy Fleming, in his cap and gown,
The book of rules upon his desk, laid down ;
And smiling asked : " What might this treasure
Then a sweet lad, the best and bravest-lipp'd.
Replied : " Dear John, it is a manuscript,
A golden treasure of a manuscript,
BLESSED BERCHMAKS LEGACY. 79
By which your hand, and yours alone, must tell us,
In words dictated by the Holy Ghost,
With what grand acts, for love is very jealous.
We boys can please our blessed Mother most."
He ceased, — a sob half-rising in his throat,
And all the rest attending silently :
While blessed Berchmans took his pen, and wrote:
" Any small thing, so it but constant beT
— That much, and nothing more, succinct, you see,
'''Any small things so it but constant be.*'
It was a scene as fair and picturesque
As eye of painter ever gazed upon, —
The eager students crowding round the desk.
And the uplifted face of blessed John ;
His eyes, as blue as violets in May,
Looked tenderly in theirs, as if to say,
" These little words contain a truth eternal :
I've given ye the nut, — find ye the kernel ! "
The while, the youths, the proffer'd parchment, took,
He quietly resumed his favorite book.
8o LEGENDS AND LYRICS.
A LITTLE LEGEND OF THE "AVE MARIA. '^
It was a sick girl's prisoned pet,
A rainbow-tinted paroquet,
^-Close to her chamber-window hung,
With restless wings and chattering tongue.
It watched the wind blow, to and fro,
The airy curtains white as snow ;
And laughed whene'er the sunset's fire
Flashed on its cage of silver wire.
But ever as the sick girl said :
" Ave Maria ! " on her bed,
" Ave Maria ! " cried the bird.
As if with secret rev'rence stirr'd :
His eyes like jewels, bright and red.
His green and golden wings out-spread, —
" Ave Maria ! " w^hispered she,
" Ave Maria!'' echoed he.
And sideways turned his scarlet head,
To eye her glitt'ring rosary.
At some such moment, thro' the blinds.
The wind a fuller entrance finds, —
A LITTLE LEGEND OF THE " AVE MARIA." 8l
Against the wall the cage is blown,
Its treach'rous door wide open thrown, —
And ere the sick girl to her aid
Can call the loit'ring waiting-maid,
She sees the silver wires part,
And something green and golden dart.
With arching head and wings spread wide,
Into the sunny space outside !
Then, thro' the silence may be heard :
Ave Maria ! save my bird ! "
While up and up, the truant flies
Rejoicing to the bright blue skies !
He feels the soft air on his breast,
The setting sunlight on his crest;
He hears the vesper-bells outringing.
And birds in hidden gardens singing;
But ah ! poor pet, he does not see.
Exulting in his liberty,
He does not hear the practiced wing
Which down the sky comes hurrying ;
The hungry hawk, which grim and gray,
Swoops, like a dark cloud, o'er its prey !
82 LEGENDS AND LYRICS.
One moment, and the sick girl's pet
Is free and fair and joyous yet, —
The next, the truant's golden dream
Isbroken by a cruel scream.
As, pouncing on him, strong and fierce,
Those angry claws his feathers pierce.
And skies and trees and gardens swim
Before his poor eyes, scared and dim!
^\Ave Maria/'*- cries the bird,
As if his heart were in each word :
" Ave Maria I Ave Maria / "
And at the sound, O cara mia I
The hawk relinquishes its hold
Upon the plumage, green and gold.
And softly lets the truant fall
Over his lady's garden- wall !
^^ Ave Maria! thanks," she said.
And, smiling, stroked the scarlet head :
" O tender name ! which, like a charm.
Hath freed my little bird from harm.
Deliver me from ev*ry snare,
Ave Maria ! pure and fair !"
THE madonna's PENITENT. S^
THE MADONNA'S PENITENT.
^'Um'ca spes Desperantiiuny —'S>'v. Ephrem.
To the feet of Friar Lawrence,
In the old God-fearing time,
Came a nobleman of Florence,
Young in years, but old in crime.
Richly deck'd, this courtly Signor,
In the gauds which worldlings prize.
All unblushing his demeanor.
Bold and dry his brilliant eyes.
Kneeling, spake he to friar :
" Tho' a sinful man I've been,
Mine is now a true desire
To repent me of my sin.
"But whene'er I fain would turn me
To my God in humble prayer.
From His face He seems to spurn me
To the depths of Hell's despair.
" Hard and cold my heart as granite,
In a sea of fury toss'd.
Burns my brain with horror, — can it
Be, great God ! that I am lost ! "
84 . LEGENDS AND LYRICS.
Gently stoop'd the monk above him,
Raised and bless'd him, where he stood;
How could he but bless and love him
Whom the love of God pursued ?
Marvelling in pious wonder
At the ways of grace divine :
" Go, my son," he said, " through yonder
Portal, unto Mary's shrine;
" Warden of the heav'nly city,
Sweeter than the saints have dreamed.
Thou wilt find her full of pity
For the soul her Son redeemed.
" Pray her with a heart confiding.
With a fervor deep and true ;
At her feet in faith abiding,
Wait, and see what God will do."
■^ * *
■Pushing back the heavy curtain,
In the chapel, all alone,
Stands the nobleman, uncertain.
At a shrine of polish 'd stone;
Where, within a nest of roses.
Sits a marble image fair
Of the Queen, who never closes
Her pure ear to sinner's prayer.
THE madonna's PENITENT. 85
Golden lustre from the candles
Glows upon her visage sweet, —
Casting off his jewelled sandals,
Kneels the noble at her feet ;
Kisses oft the snowy border
Of her sculptured drapery.
Cries aloud : " Have pity, Mother !
Intercede with God for me ! "
Sudden thro' the clust'ring roses
Shoots a slender, shining hand,
Like a lily, white and od'rous.
Stretches forth our Lady*s hand
And upon its palm is written.
Clear as words of light can be,
" Courage ! I will thee deliver
From the foes afflicting thee ! "
As, of old, when struck by Moses,
From the rock the water starts,
Lo ! our Lady of the Roses,
Draweth tears from stony hearts !
Mastered by a grand emotion.
Melting with a passion blest.
Sorrow, like a mighty ocean,
Surging in his throbbing breast :
S6 LEGENDS AND LYRTCS.
" Credo — spero — a^no ! " — gently,
Words like these came brokenly,
" O my Saviour! I repent me
Of my sins for love of Thee !
*' For the sake of sweet Madonna,
Do not scorn a spirit crush'd !
Cleanse my soul from its dishonor.
Pardon ! " — and his voice is hush'd.
— Brighter glow the wasting tapers.
Sweeter smell the fading flowers ;
Deeper grows the hush, and deeper.
Minutes lengthen into hours.
In his closet, watching, waiting.
Some one tells his rosary,
Kneels, and rises, hesitating,
Looks and listens anxiously ;
Then, on noiseless feet, the friar
Glides along the corridor,
Lifts the curtain — drawing nigher —
Sees the shape upon the floor, —
Stealing closer, frightened Lawrence
Stoops, and lifts the pallid head, —
Lo ! the nobleman of Florence
At our Lady's feet lies — dead I
OUR BLESSED LADYS SLEEP. 87
OUR BLESSED LADY'S SLEEP.
Around her bed, on silver feet,
The tender moonshine comes and goes ;
Her hands are folded on her breast.
Her eyes, in soft repose.
While 'tween her lips, the virgin breath
Steals calmly out, steals calmly in.
With ev'ry motion of the heart
That never knew a sin.
How grandly, thro' the childlike face,
The pure majestic spirit shows
Its constant union with its God
Thro' all this deep repose !
The close espousals of a soul
Whose ev'ry motive upward tends,
A golden ladder, by whose aid
Each word and work ascends.
Full many a princess on her couch.
Rests now, devoid of diadem,
But none is like this Lily pure.
Asleep upon her stem.
She casts sweet thoughts into my heart,
She drops sweet words upon my tongue.
88 LEGENDS AND LYRICS.
And bids me paint her in repcse,
The fair, the ever young!
Mute, touching image of that sleep.
Thou shalt, O love ! hereafter taste, —
When in the grave for three brief days
Thy body shall be placed !
Dost feel the keen electric thrill
With which thou shalt be drawn to light,
Leaving the sacred tomb behind
A nest of lilies white ?
Ah ! let us cross thy lintel fair,
Ah ! let us kneel beside thy bed.
And tenderly recall the words
Which Saint Augustine said.
Painting the golden Paradise
Of sinless Adam and his wife ;
'' Their dreams when sleeping were as blest
As was their waking life ! "
Dear Mother ! could the Holy Ghost
Refuse His spouse a boon like that ?
— The answer stirs her dreaming lips,
" Cor ineum vigilat ! "
AT LAST. 89
High from the sepulchre, where lilies fair
Have blown and blossom'd thro' the hazy night,
With virgin face aglow, she wings her flight
Up through the morning air.
Strange lustres break upon her lifted eyes,
Strange shapes of beauty 'round her pathway throng,
And sounds of hidden harp and silver song
Her stainless soul surprise.
Past the wide orbits where the starry globes
Shake purest splendors from their flying feet,
Rose-flush'd, she steps into the golden street,
A Queen in royal robes.
Her Lord, her Beautiful, while seraphs bow,
The center of all light and worship stands.
The rosy Wounds in Side and Feet and Hands,
The thorn-marks on his brow.
90 LEGENDS AND LYRICS.
He takes her hand those pierced Palms between
Upon her face His loving looks abide, —
" To-day, O Mary, Mother long-denied,
The heavens hail their Queen ! "
And from the shining ranks of endless space,
A glorious song-burst rends the radiant air ;
And Mary, kneeling, finds her heaven there
In Christ's beloved face !
O Lord of life and death ! Thy love ordains
This holy one shall ne'er corruption see ;
After the cross, the crown. Enthroned by Thee,
The Queen in triumph reigns !
OUR LADY OF THE CHAIR.
Madonna della Sedta ! it hangs upon my wall,
Where the sunshine makes a glory, and the rippling
moonbeams fall ;
Where the early morning bathes it in its pure and
And the falling shadows veil it, at the gloaming, from
OUR LADY OF THE CHAIR. 91
A basso-rilievo after Raphael's design,
With a world of mystic loveliness in every curve and
As I sit beneath it, writing at my desk, mine eyes will
From the paper to the picture, a hundred times a day.
The Virgin Mother sitteth in her carven chair an-
With her arms about the Infant, and the oval of her
Resting lightly on the silken curls, from which the
Child's clear eyes,
Full of a fearless dignity, look out in kingly wise.
Monarch, and yet a Baby, with His dimpled feet up-
Half-hiding in his Mother's breast the Hands that
rule the world,
Although her mantle closer press'd. His limbs may
Still from the shelter of His nest the Babe's bright
eyes look out.
Ah ! as, within the bosom of the awful main concealed.
Rare wrecks of golden treasure to the diver are re-
92 LEGENDS AND LYRICS.
So those wondrous eyes of Jesus in their shadowless
Reveal a golden mystery to ev'ry reverent glance.
And, as the glory of the stars melts dimly thro' the
When the radiant moon is flooding all the heavens
with her light.
So, in the moonlight-lustre of the Mother's peerless
The starry-eyed Saint John, at first (tho' near her), is
One foot upon our Lady's stool, one arm upon her
Close nestling to the Infant Christ, the son of Zachary,
The lovely little Baptist, in his cloak of camel-hair.
Is far too fair a vision to be long forgotten there.
One might suppose Elizabeth had sent her chosen
(Drawn by the Holy Spirit with a strange ascetic joy.)
To bid farewell to Mary, beg the blessing of her Child,
Ere he hid himself, young hermit, in the desert lone
And gazing, rapt and prayerful, on that earthly trinity,
(The fairest out of heaven), — one almost fears to see
OUR LADY OF THE CHAIR. 93
The curtain by the pillar gently shaken, and with-
And the wistful face of John, a moment lingering, —
O mighty privilege of love ! which faith can ne'er
To be the kinsman of our Lord, our Lady's chosen
O mightier sacrifice of love ! which, having once be-
Embraced and touched the living Christ, could leave
Him when He willed.
Forsake the little sacred room our tabernacle's type,
Whence Joseph's shop looked out upon the orchard
full and ripe .'*
Resign the Mother in her chair, — the Babe upon her
knees } —
Who but the new Elias could have done such things
as these 1
O Angel of the desert ! in sweet pity, teach me how
To make my mansion ready for so pure a guest as
How to build upon my wretched heart, a chair, a
Where Mary and her Son may sit, and govern me and
94 LEGENDS AND LYRICS.
And 'twill be the joy of worship, while they steadily
All the senses of my body, all the powers of my soul, —
To know that for the future, health or sickness, joy
The heart's best hopes are anchored in Our Lady of
the Chair !
BETWEEN THE LIGHTS.
'Tis sweet in the twilight when toil is suspended,
A hush on the house, and the tapers unlit,
The work and the woe of another day ended, —
'Tis sweet at the feet of our Lady to sit.
To creep to her side, tired children of Mary,
So sure that our Mother oar needs understands, —
Our feverish brows in her dear 1 ip to bury,
And feel on our heads the soft stroke of her hands.
No need to complain, to give voice to our sorrow,
The tongue may be mute, but the full heart o'erflows ;
The wounds of to-day and the wants of to-morrow,
Are soothed by that touch with the balm of repose.
No matter how burden'd the dusk may have found us,
How vexed with our failures, how weary of heart, —
She draws the cool folds of her mantle around us.
And heat and vexation of spirit depart.
THE BEGGAR S PRAYER. 95
Oh ! why will ye sink 'neath your crosses, my brothers?
Why wander the world with a bosom oppress'd ?
When here at the feet of the fondest of Mothers,
There waits for the weary the sweetest of rest !
THE BEGGAR'S PRAYER.
Close to the massive brazen door
Of an old Cathedral over the sea,
A beggar crouch'd on the marble floor,
Weeping and praying continually ;
From the first faint blush of the morning red
Till the twilight folded its pinions gray, —
Smiting his breast and drooping his head.
Ever and always, the beggar said :
" Noveritn Te, noverim me ! "
The changeful seasons came and went,
The daily Masses were said or sung :
The lamp of the Holy Sacrament
Its fadeless light o'er the chancel flung;
And, in and out, like a rustling tide.
The worshippers flowed, by night, by day, —
Still in his nook at the portal wide,
g6 LEGENDS AND LYRICS.
Ever and always, the beggar cried :
" Noverim TV, novei'im me ! "
At last, in the glow of a Summer late,
Fair as the light in its eastern skies,
Tenderly dawned our Lady's fete,
The day of her crowning in Paradise.
But lo ! when the last grand Mass was o'er.
And the last fond votary drifted away,
The weeping beggar was heard no more.
Crying aloud at the brazen door :
'"''Noverim 7>, ?wven?ji me I "
They found him slumbering, cold and white.
On the step of our Lady's brilliant shrine.
Circled about with a wondrous light.
The peerless rays of a peace divine.
— The shining hair from his temples blown.
His face, like a sun-touch'd lily, lay ;
Poverty, pain, forever gone, —
The smiling lips had ceased to moan,
" Noverim 7>, noverim me / "
Then, thro' the old Cathedral stole
A heavenly whisper : '' I, the Lord,
A MOTHER S REBUKE. 97
Have looked with love on the beggar's soul,
And crowned his works with a rich reward.
Knowing himself, and knowing Me,
He hath soared to the light of the perfect Day ;
On the pinions of faith he hath mounted free,
To the glorious heights of Eternity !
■Blest shall the prayer of the lowly be :
' Noverim 7>, noverim me ! ^^'
A MOTHER'S REBUKE.
Before a statue in a shrine of green,
A parian image of the heavenly Queen,
The holy Rodriguez, in rapture, kneels,
And to his gracious Mistress thus appeals :
" O fair Madonna! sweetest Mother mine,
My heart, my soul, my being, all are thine ; —
'Tis true, blest Maid ! great love thou bearest me
But greater, stronger is my love for thee ! "
Then Mary, wounded in her tender love,
Speaks from the marble image placed above,
(In grieving accents speaks the sinless one,)
" What sayest thou, what sayest thou, my son }
98 LEGENDS AND LYRICS.
Wouldst measure love? My dear Alphonsus, know,
The distance 'twixt yon sky and earth below,
Is not so great as that which angels see
Betwixt thy little love, and mine for thee ! "
THE BIRD'S ANGELUS.
The clock was striking six,
The Angelus was ringing, —
When, just above my lattice.
In the flow'ring thick clematis,
I heard a robin singing.
" The Angel of the Lord
Announced unto Mary — "
I whispered softly, slowly,
When, like a spirit holy.
The robin sang " Hail, Mary ! "
" — Ancilla Do7nini —
— According to thy word — "
The prayer in broken sweetness,
Was rounding to completeness,
— " Hail, Mary ! " sang the bird.
" Verbum caro factum est ! "
— I bowed my head, adoring,
A CANZONET TO OUR LADY OF LOURDES. 99
When, with the church-bells airy
The robin sang " Hail, Mary ! "
Its soul of song outpouring.
" Thanks, tiny clerk," I said,
" Thanks, pretty Minnesinger ! "
— Lo ! through my window dropping.
The little bird came hopping,
iVnd perched upon my finger.
A CANZONET TO OUR LADY OF LOURDES.
Round about thy shining feet,
Blooms from out the snows.
Blooms from out the frost and sleet.
Summer's fragrant rose ;
Blessed Queen ! upon our souls
Thy warm smile reposes, —
Let it thaw their wintry cold,
Draw from out their icy mold
Bright, celestial roses !
Where the rocks their shadows fling,
Lo ! at one sweet sound.
Bursts a fair, mysterious spring
From the sandy ground !
TOO LEGENDS AND LYRICS.
Breathe once more that blest command,-
Purest of earth's daughters !
And from out the rocks and sand
Of these hearts, shall graces grand
Burst, like healing waters !
She wrote (dear child) from London
To her sister at Saint Luke,
(The merry madcap, Alice,
To the novice at Saint Luke,)
" I have just come from the palace
With a duchess and a duke,
" In your poor secluded cloister,
O my gentle Geraldine !
With its round of dreary penance.
And its ever-dull routine,
— What think you of the honor
Of an audience with the Queen ?
" A countess went before me.
And a marchioness behind,
THE SISTERS. lOI
And all the royal chamber
With noblemen was lined;
And the prince beside his mother,
Looked upon me, fair and kind.
" For I wore my snowy velvet.
And my set of precious pearls.
And a crown of whitest roses
Resting lightly on my curls ;
— Now was I not, sweet sister,
The happiest of girls.? "
And Geraldine made answer.
From her convent by the sea :
" God keep thee ever guileless
In thy gayety and glee, —
But bear with me, beloved.
While I tell my joys to thee.
" To-day, my little Alice,
I, too, at Court have been,
Have entered at a palace,
And held converse with a Queen,
A fairer and a dearer
Than any earthly queen !
I02 LEGENDS AND LYRICS.
" With wreath of whitest roses
They crowned thy kneeling nun,
And when the Queen embraced me,
My darling little one !
Before the court of angels,
She espoused me to her Son !
"The richest, rarest jewels
He hath brought me fromi the sky ;
He hath clasped me to His bosom
With a love that cannot die, —
Oh ! tell me, happy Alice,
Art thou happier than I ? "
THE STATUE OF SAINT JOSEPH.
In a dear old Jesuit chapel, a small but blest retreat.
Where walls of massive granite shut in the narrow
There stands a sculptured image, with a halo 'round
A statue of Saint Joseph, our Lady's chosen spouse.
THE STATUE OF ST. JOSEPH. 103
His face is fair and noble, his look is calm and grave,
The brow is broad and lofty, the bearded lips are
The staff he holds is crested with lilies undefiled,
And, on his firm arm resting, he bears the Holy Child.
A strange and special virtue invests that image old,
And makes its wood more precious than plates of
polish 'd gold;
Around it floats a fragrance, a breath of purest grace.
Which draws the hearts of hundreds to worship at its
For night and noon and morning, there kneel before
The ever-thronging clients, the poor beside the rich ;
And every age and color, and every sex and state.
In simple faith and fervor, upon Saint Joseph wait.
Unto the men and matrons, he shows his beauteous
And says : " Behold your model ! the glory of my
Unto the virgin-hearted, he whispers, "Blest are ye!
Come to my inner chamber of whitest purity ! "
I04 LEGENDS AND LYRICS.
Drawing the little children about the Infant fair, —
Unto the rich he preaches of penance and of prayer;
Unto the poor, he murmurs, " Remember Nazareth !"
And to the old, " Make ready to' share my happy
But if he hath a blessing that's sweeter, tenderer yet,
'Tis for the tired workmen, begrimed with dust and
Who hear this cheering welcome, (prostrated at his
" Ye are the well-beloved of Him who toiled with
And when the tired and tempted, before him bending
In tears rehearse their sorrows, their litany of woe.
It is as though an angel their aching temples smoothed,
As on a father's bosom their bitter sobs are soothed.
He is our Father's shadow, that royal artisan,
Spouse of the Queen of heaven, guide of a God made
Ah ! lay thy staff of lilies upon each guilty soul,
And win us all, Saint Joseph ! to seek thy safe control !
A TRYST WITH THE FLOWERS. I05
In Life's gigantic workshop, thou must be in our
To supervise our labors, as thou Emmanuel's didst ;
And thou canst ask no favor that can ungranted be,
For Christ, our God and Saviour, was subject unto
A TRYST WITH THE FLOWERS.
Roses, sunny roses,
Swinging, clinging, on the wall ;
White as milk and red as coral,
Trailing down the convent-wall ;
Keep the freshness and the sweetness
Of your glowing hearts unspent —
I am coming at the sunset.
Give me bloom, and give me scent !
Lilies, calla lilies.
Nodding at the fountain's brim :
Virgin lilies of the valley.
In your cloisters green and dim ;
Turn your white, exquisite faces
From the gaze of every eye,
I06 LEGENDS AND LYRICS.
I am coming at the sunset,
Little nuns, be veiled and shy !
Violets, sweet violets,
Lighting up the grassy maze,
Like amethysts and sapphires
Asleep on em'rald sprays ;
Do not let the laughing children
Trample down your purple heads,
I am coming at the sunset,
Be exultant in your beds !
I am coming, — lo! the sunset
Sparkles on this altar-vase, —
All the glories of the garden
In its crystal mouth I place;
Here's our Lady's ivied grotto,
Burning tapers star the green, —
Bloom your best, and breathe your sweetest,
Flowers ! do homage to your Queen !
OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL. I07
HYMN FOR THE CONFRATERNITY OF OUR
LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL.
Pure as Carmel's snows, and lovely
As its first fair morning-shine ;
Crowned with stars of changeless splendor,
Hail, thou Mother, Maid divine !
Hail, thou Lady of the Mountain,
Rearing up its stately height.
Emblematic of thy graces,
Glowing in immortal light.
Mother of Mount Carmel! hear,
Shades are falling, night is near,
From the wide wastes of the ocean,
Where the bird-like vessels sail ;
From the deep haunts of the city.
Where the weak and tempted wail ;
In the battle, in the chapel,
From the bondsman and the free,
This sweet incense still is wafted.
This sweet prayer swept up to thee,
Mother of Mount Carmel! hear,
Shades are falling, night is near !
I08 LEGENDS AND LYRICS.
PUREST OF THE. PURE.
Pure as the snows, — we say. Ah ! never flake
Fell thro' the brooding air
One half as fair
As Mary's soul was made for Christ's dear sake.
Virgin immaculate !
The whitest whiteness of the Alpine snows,
Beside thy stainless spirit, dusky grows.
Pure as the stars 2 — Ah ! never lovely night
Wore in its diadem
As pure a gem
As that which fills the ages with its light.
Virgin immaculate !
The peerless splendors of thy soul, by far,
Outshine the glow of heaven's clearest star.
Pure as the lilies ? — Dearest Queen, forgive
The fond but feeble trope.
— Mother of hope.
Fair love and holy fear ! there doth not live,
PUREST OF THE PURE. I09
Virgin immaculate !
In all the grassy haunts where lilies blow-
As white, as rare, as sweet a Flow'r as thou !
Pure as the breath of God ! O clean of heart !
These happy words can tell
Of how divinely innocent thou art !
Virgin immaculate !
Under thy shining cloak our vileness hide.
Lest her own kindred should disgrace the Bride.
no LEGENDS AND LYRICS.
SONG OF SAINT GERTRUDE TO OUR
" The Blessed Mother of the Saviour made Saint Gertrude understand that
if any one saluting her devoutly called her the white lily of the Trin-
ity^ and the vermilion rose which blooms 171 heaven.^ she would take in
hand to make apparent in that person -what she can do by the might of
the Father ; how subtle she is in providing for the salvation of men by
the wisdom of the Son ; and lastly^ what is that excess of love with
which her heart is filled by the Charity of the Holy Ghost. To which
she added these words : '/ %vill also appear to him who shall salute me
in such sort at the moment when his soul separates itself fom his body.,
but in beauty of such wondrous splendor that I will make him taste., by
anticipation., the sweetness of heaven.'' "—Revelations of St. Ger-
O white, white Lily of the Holy Trinity !
O red, red Rose ! majestical and sweet.
Ever peaceful and resplendent, in thy glory, breathe
Till my little life lies fragrant at thy feet.
O white, white Lily ! O red, red Rose !
O white, white Lily of the mighty Trinity !
O red, red Rose ! whose odor fills the skies ;
In thy womb, the King of heaven chose. Madonna! to
The milk of thy breasts fed the Prince of Paradise,
O white, white Lily ! O red, red Rose !
TRIBUTE OF THE MONTHS TO MARY. Ill
O white, white Lily of the august Trinity !
O red, red Rose ! immortal and divine,
By the burnings and the yearnings of thy pure and
Impart delicious nourishment to this poor heart of
And, in its last dread agony,
From out the darkness shine,
O white, white Lily ! O red, red Rose !
TRIBUTE OF THE MONTHS TO MARY.
Chants the ice-crown'd January :
" I within my bosom, bear
Thine Espousals, pure and fair.
Virgin Bride ! I hail thee, Mary !"
Moans the shiv'ring February :
^" Candlemas, amid the snow,
Bids the blessed tapers glow.
Bids them burn for thee, O Mary ! "
Cries the boisterous March : " I see
Early snow-drops in the way :
112 LEGENDS AND LYRICS.
Sweet Annunciation Day
Blooms, O sinless Maid, for thee ! "
April stands and weeps : "Ah ! me,
Ne'er was sorrow like to thine, —
Mother ! 'neath the Cross divine,
Let me stand and mourn with thee ! "
May, among her violets airy,
Sings exultant hymns of praise :
" All my nights and all my days
Are thy very own, dear Mary ! '
June, the rosy, radiant fairy.
Murmurs : " Oh ! how fair thou art !
Lady of the Sacred Heart !
Summer's sweets are thine, sweet Mary !
Flowers in her tangled hair.
Pants the beautiful July :
" Visitation Day is nigh,
Mary's happy journey share ! "
August, sinking, flushed and fair,
In the harvest fields to rest :
" Welcome ! " cries, '' L'Assunta blest.
Queen of heaven ! hear our prayer ! "
TRIBUTE OF THE MONTHS TO MARY. II,
Beauteous babe her arms between,
Sweet September seems to say :
" Hither haste, and homage pay-
To the little new-born Queen ! "
-Floats thro' russet fields, once green.
Brown October's plaintive plea,
" Lady of the Rosary !
Hear our Aves, Maid serene ! "
Pale November, at the door,
Kneels in mystic contemplation :
" 'Tis our Lady's Presentation,
Zealous souls, her help implore ! "
Raptur'd, cries December hoar,
" Queen conceived without the stain
Of the sin of Adam, — reign
O'er our hearts for evermore ! "
Glorious Mother ! from high heaven,
Down upon thy children gaze,
Gathered in thy own loved season,
Thee to bless, and thee to praise.
Chorus. — See, sweet Mary, on thy altars
Bloom the fairest buds of May,
Oh ! may we, earth's sons and daughters,
Grow, by grace, as pure as they !
Earth is darksome, we are weary,
Satan setteth snares for all ;
Pray for us, O tender Mary !
Pray to Jesus, lest we fall.
Many call upon thee. Mother,
Some in manhood, strong in youth,
Il8 OTHER POEMS.
Some in age, in tender childhood,
All, in loving faith and truth.
Chorus. — *
Raise thy voice for us to Jesus,
In this blessed month of thine ;
Raise thy pure hands up to bless us,
As we linger round thy shrine.
Bless, oh! bless us, now and ever,
, Thou who^o.nce the dark earth t^rod.
And when dying, waft our spirits
To the bosom of our God !
I Awake! O smiling May !
P J The wintry night hath flown,
And in her loving way,
Sweet Mary claims her throne ;
Like some dear friend she walks apart
Amid the- sunny days,
And leads our eager, wearied hearts
Thro' still and peaceful ways.
And while our souls within us glow.
MAY CAROLS. II9
She smiles and blesses all below ;
All hail, to-day,
The Queen of May !
Chorus. — Awake! O smiling May!
The wintry nights hath flown,
And in her loving w^ay.
Sweet Mary claims her throne.
The world of bloom around us spread
Hath not a flower more sweet
Than these, the buds which love hath shed,
Dear Mother ! at thy feet.
Oh ! may they ever live and glow.
To bless and brighten all below ;
All hail, to-day.
The Queen of May I
O Mother ! in thy tender arms,
Dear Jesus rests secure;
Oh! win us to His Infant charms.
And make us meek and pure.
And if He smiles upon our woe,
'Twill bless and brighten all below ;
All hail, to-day.
The Queen of May !
I20 OTHER POEMS.
O thou to whom the demons crouch,
Who stood in gentle power
At Jesus' cross, and Joseph's couch,
Oh ! bless our dying hour !
And then above we'll see and know
The hand that brightened all below.
All hail, to-day.
The Queen of May !
Queen of the skies, so brightly fair,
So mild, so chaste, so meek.
We beg thy love, we claim thy care.
Thy children, frail and weak.
Behold! our prayers, like incense, rise,
Queen of the skies !
Mary, loved Mary, Queen of the skies !
The shadows of a sinful earth
Are hov'ring o'er our way ;
O thou who gav'st a Saviour birth,
Be thou our guide and stay.
Oh ! turn on us thy loving eyes,
Queen of the skies !
Mary, loved Mary, queen of the skies !
MAY CAROLS. 121
The fragrant wreath for thee we twine,
To thee our voices, raise ;
As 'round thy chaste and holy shrine
We hymn our notes of praise.
Oh ! hear our prayers, receive our sighs,
Queen of the skies !
Mary, loved Mary, queen of the skies !
'Tis the month of our Mother,
The blessed and beautiful days.
When our lips and our spirits
Are glowing with love and with praise.
Chorus. — All hail, to dear Mary,
The guardian of our way !
To the fairest of Queens,
Be the fairest of seasons, sweet May !
Oh ! what peace to her children,
'Mid sorrows and trials, to know
That the love of their Mother
Hath ever a solace for woe.
122 OTHER POEMS.
And what joy to the erring,
The sinful and sorrowful soul,
That a trust in her guidance,
Will lead to a glorious goal !
Let us sing, then, rejoicing
That God hath so honored our race.
As to clothe, with our nature,
Sweet Mary, the Mother of grace.
And here, at her. altars.
Let pride and unkindness depart,
For she loves not the praise
Of a proud or a selfish heart.
But bring flowers of Purity,
Meekness, Patience, and Love ;
They are garlands unfading.
The blossoms which open above.
And the heart of our Mother
Will glow with a hallowed delight ;
MAY CAROLS. I 23
And the buds of this May-tide,
No wind of the Winter can blight !
As the gentle Spring uncloses,
And the Winter fades away.
Sunlight glistens, lilies blow,
As we greet the month of May;
As we hail its peerless Queen,
Mary, Mother of delight !
In her own especial season,
Sing her praise from morn till night.
Chorus. — Mary, Mother sweet,
Mary, Mother fair.
Virgin, Queen discreet,
Hear, oh hear our prayer !
Unto Jesus pray
That each day
We may grow like thee, our Queen of May !
May is Mary's, she is ours.
Thus the month is doubly dear;
As we crown her with our flowers,
Angels gladly hover near;
And the blessed Jesus smiles
On each humble votary ;
124 OTHER POEMS.
And our homage to His Mother
Will requite most graciously.
Dearest Mother! we remember
How, at one request of thine,
Jesus, at the marriage />i"/^,
Changed the water into wine;
At our feast, ah ! let the water
Of our tears, thy pity move !
Beg, oh ! beg thy Son to change it
To the wine of perfect love !
Take us all 'neath thy protection.
Heart and soul and senses, take!
Tell dear Jesus we are thine.
And He'll bless us for thy sake ;
And the treasures of our May
Up in heaven we shall store,
Naught shall steal them, naught corrode them,
They shall last for evermore !
From the French.
Blessed are we as the children of a Mother
Who, in her grace, surpasses all ;
MAY CAROLS. I 25
Hasten, then hasten, with gladness to her altar,
There, at her feet, in tenderness fall.
Chorus. — Behold, the month of Mary!
It passes like a white-wing'd dove,
And thro' its hours of glory.
Resound our strains of love.
Beautiful Mary, sweetest of Mothers,
Oh ! bless us ere thy month departs ;
Beautiful Mary, sweetest of Mothers,
Receive our lays, receive our hearts !
Slowly the Winter faded on the mountain,
Leaving the streams, all chainless, free,
Buds of the meadows and waters of the fountain,
All are awaking, sweet Mother ! for thee.
Bless then, O Mary ! the gifts of smiling nature,
Sweeter than these, there scarce could be.
Fields in their beauty have yielded thee their treasure,
Birds in their gladness are singing for thee !
We, too, will praise thee, pure and stainless Mother !
We will unite with flower and bird :
126 OTHER POEMS.
For 'round thine altars, thro' all thy sacred season,
Lays of thy glory, thy beauty are heard.
Chorus. — *
Here in the morn and in the shades of even,
We in our joy will bend each day;
Flowers may fade, and the song of birds be missing,
Love and devotion will never decay !
THE CROWNING OF THE QUEEN.
(A convent-chapel filled with the little children of Mary. A fair
altar on which is seen a statue of our Blessed Mother sur-
rounded by lights and flowers. A band of white-robed and
white- veiled children stand before it.)
Margaret speaks :
" It is the month of Mary,
The fairest month of Spring ;
Our feast, the coronation
Of the Mother of our King.
While starry tapers twinkle,
While incense floats serene,
What gifts, O happy children !
Have you brought our blessed Queen ? "
THE CROWNING OF THE QUEEN. 127
Angela and Lucy, bearing between them a wreath of violets :
" O meek and humble Mother !
We offer thee to-day
The freshest, sweetest violets
That ever crowned thy May ;
We've sought them in the meadows,
In groves and gardens green.
Sweet symbols of thy lowliness,
Accept them, gracious Queen ! "
Rosalie and Gertrude, bearing a coronal of roses :
'' O lovely, smiling Mother !
Our gift is fairer yet,
These white and scarlet roses,
With early dew-drops wet ;
ou art the Rose of Sharon,
By prophet eyes foreseen.
Oh ! take our fragrant roses,
And be our peerless Queen ! "
Alice and Regina, bearing a chaplet of lilies :
*' O pure and stainless Mother !
Behold ! our hands are full
Of lilies of the valley,
And water-lilies cool ;
Amid the thorns, blest Lily !
No stain in thee was seen.
128 OTHER POEMS.
Receive these buds immaculate,
And be our Virgin Queen ! "
Margaret, taking the three wreaths, forms them into a triple
" Behold, O Queen of Angels !
Thy little children now
Approach to place this coronet
Upon thy glorious brow.
Beside thy heav'nly diadem
Our wreath is plain and poor,
But when we do our humble best,
Thou dost demand no more."
She places the crown on the head of the statue, and all exclaim
'* Rejoice, rejoice, ye angels !
Our Queen of May is crown'd !
Let hymns of joy and triumph
From ev'ry lip resound.
O virgin eyes ! which light the skies,
Smile on our weak endeavor ;
Receive our hearts among the flowers.
And be our Queen forever ! "
THE CANNON IN THE CONVENT-GROUNDS. I29
THE CANNON IN THE CONVENT-GROUNDS.
When, in September, i86r, General Lew Wallace, commanding the Fed-
eral Forces in Southern Kentucky, applied to St. Mary's, the Mother House
of the Sisters of the Holy Cross, for nurses, Mother Angela, with five other
Sisters, hastened to the relief of the suffering soldiers at the camp in Paducah.
And before the opening of the year 1862, seventy-five Sisters were sent from
St. Mary's, and her branch houses, to the military hospitals at Louisville,
Paducah, Cairo, Mound City, Memphis, and Washington City. Of this num-
ber, two died from fever, caught in the discharge of their duties. When the
western flotilla of gunboats opened the Mississippi River, Commodore Davis
asked and obtained the services of seven Sisters of the Holj^ Cross to take
charge of the floating hospital, in which hundreds of lives were saved. These
deeds were not done for the world's praise ; they were the duties to which the
lives of the Sisters of the Holy Cross are devoted, whenever suflering human-
ity requires their help. A memorial of those days now rests in St. Mary's
grounds, in the shape of two immense shattered cannon, captured at Island
No. 10, and presented to Mother Angela by the commander of the Flotilla.
These cannon are destined to be moulded into a statue of '' Our Lady of
Peace," and will remain in St. Mary's grounds as an historical monument of
the dark days of our Civil War. — Extract fro77t South-Bend Tribune.
See, where they lie 'mid the frosts of the Winter,
Just as they lay 'mid the grasses and flowers
All these long Summers, — a War-breathing cen ter.
Mocking the calm of these woodlands of ours.
Nearly two decades of peace have been numbered
By Time (the old clerk) on his chaplet of years.
Since first in this sylvan seclusion they slumbered.
Sprinkled with blood-drops and shining with tears.
O'er the cold metal, now rusted and rimy.
Year after year the green mosses have crept ;
130 OTHER POEMS.
Silvery sweet, thro' yon tubes, dark and grimy,
The bells of St. Mary's their echoes have swept.
Oft on those arches the robin sat singing
The song of the Spring to the mate on its nest;
Athwart the black nozzles, the Summer wind winging,
Breathed perfume and balm from the groves of the
Gently the dead leaves have fallen upon them
With delicate whispers of rest and release ;
And even the snow-flakes, thick-fluttering on them.
Have swelled, in their turn, the soft chorus of Peace !
Come, put your ear to these lips, black and hoary.
List to this voice, breathing ruin no more ;
The harsh tones grow sweet as they tell of the story
Of Mercy's blest part in the pageant of War;
Tell of the nuns of historic St. Mary's,
Binding the camp and the hospital bloom
With Heaven's own glory : like minist'ring fairies,
Shedding God's sunlight thro' suffering's gloom.
Floating, sweet saints, on the dark winding waters.
Alone with the wounded, the dying, the dead, —
Christ of the Holy Cross ! bless Thy dear daughters,
Brave help of our heroes who battled and bled!
Lift the great guns from the snows which enfold them.
Heat the vast furnace, — War's echoes must cease;
THE CANNON IN THE CONVENT-GROUNDS. 131
Swift in the mighty flames melt them and mould them
Into one image — Our Lady of Peace !
Tranquil and tender from out the dark iron,
Soon the dear face on her children shall shine ;
Grandeur and grace not of earth shall environ
The form of our Mother, the sinless, divine !
Trophies of Death in Life's'^ image dissolving, —
Beautiful Peace veiling visions of gore, —
Praise to our God! while the years are revolving,
Madonna of Peace ! thou shalt leave us no more !
*"Our life, our sweetness, and our hope ! " — Salve Regina.
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